I’m not Michael Brown’s mother and I can’t begin to presume to know the pain, disrespect, humiliation, anger or frustration she has been enduring since August 2014. I can only try to offer some biblical advice to readers with regard to dealing with what has continued to be injustice and inequality when it comes to the obvious lack of worth that the lives of Black and African-American people have in America. I want to encourage the Christian community to be Christ-like in our response. Persecution is nothing new, and if you are living for Christ, it is a part of your cross. We must choose to move past Ferguson, as we have so many other injustices, and on to Forgiveness.
Luke 23:34 King James Version (KJV)
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
I am not in any way excusing the Ferguson police department or officer Darren Wilson. This was a ruthless killing in my opinion. We all know that officer Wilson was and is responsible for the shooting death of an unarmed teen. It is very obvious, however, that Wilson had no expectation that his leave and the grand jury investigation would lead to an indictment being issued. It is apparent that he had unwavering confidence that the system would find him not culpable,and he was right. While the rest of the world was awaiting a final word on how the case would proceed, Wilson was preparing to marry fellow Ferguson police officer, Barbara Spradling which he did on October 24, 2014.
Fast forward one month to Monday, November 24, 2014. After a lengthy grand jury investigation of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, it was announced that the police officer, Darren Wilson, would not be indicted on any charges in the case. The police department ruled that Wilson was justified in shooting Mr. Brown twelve times because he was being assaulted by the teen. Their version of the events states that Mr. Brown attacked Officer Wilson in his car which was the catalyst to the shooting. I have a difficult time seeing how the officer’s actions were justifiable or standard procedure as they claim given the eyewitness accounts together with the number of shots fired and landed. It is obvious that the truth has not been told.
Nevertheless, let us consider how we can bring good from this tragedy. I plead with the Christian community to lead the way in being agents of change rather than (in hopeless resignation) just accepting the status quo and continuing to make no difference in these fights. This travesty comes right on the hills of the Trayvon Martin case. We get their message, now we have to make sure they get ours. You know, the bus boycott was a huge sacrifice for those involved but, it brought to light a major injustice and in the end there was a change. We can’t continue to do nothing of any substance. WE MUST TURN ON THE LIGHTS!
Matthew 5:15-17 King James Version (KJV)
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which i s in heaven.
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
My conviction is that it is our responsibility to use situations such as these to bring light and a greater understanding of why men, women, boys and girls from every ethnicity and culture need the saving power of Christ Jesus in their lives. Saved people love one another, period. In Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile, male nor female, free nor bond; the body of Christ is one.
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
This particular incident will pass and fade into a distant memory, but, unless something is resolved within the hearts of mankind, we will continue to see repeats of this total disregard for life on an even larger scale. That seems to be the way it goes.The Brown family was no doubt disappointed with the verdict today and I’m sure that is the understatement of the year. I thought their public statement showed that they are rising above and responding responsibly showcasing the dignity their son was not. Their plea may belie their inner rage, but even in this they offer solutions and speak healing to a community that is looking for consolation and answers.
The Brown family’s statement, delivered via their lawyers, read:
We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions.
While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen.
Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera.
We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction.
Let’s not just make noise, let’s make a difference.
I think that the Brown’s have offered sound advice. Let’s not make noise, let’s make a difference. Christ left us here to keep turning the world upside down through the preaching of the gospel and our love. Regardless of how you self-identify, I implore you to take the high road and find a way to make a change for the better right where you are now. Don’t be baited into an argument about race, Africa, worth, police brutality etc. Yes, those are all very real and very present in the evil day. In this world we have had trouble, but just remember that Jesus said He has overcome the world! Preach the gospel and shine your light. We can make a difference and move past Ferguson on to Forgiveness–even if the change is only made one life at a time.