Day One: My personal journal entry.
The murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old unarmed black man, who was jogging in his neighborhood was chased down and murdered by a white father/son team in February. Ironically the 4-minute video was not released until May. NOW THIS. Two weeks later, the world watched (thanks to cell phone footage captured on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020) a Minnesota policeman murder an unarmed black man, George Floyd. Both of these killings were senseless acts that revealed the spiritual condition of the heart, and disregard for the sanctity of human life, specifically black men.
It was heartbreaking to me, and I believe, to any loving mother of African American sons. Although the long roll call of black men killed differ case by case, the commonality is the long-lasting trend that seemed to escalate since the killing of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012. However, this video recorded the unnecessary brutality at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve. What the world saw was unbelievable.
If the killing had not been captured on video, the probability of their arrest was unlikely. It would just be another black man killed while in the custody of policemen. The image of the abuse of power was reproduced in my mind! Anger like darts aimed at my soul as the officer stared boldly at the cell phone camera with ease, hand in pocket as he held his knee on the neck of a handcuffed man lying on his stomach pleaded for mercy, “I can’t breathe!” George Floyd’s cry was ignored. Sadly, fellow officers participated by offering no assistance to save a life. Was their conscious seared? They had to know, at least one of them, that it was wrong! Was this a scene from a movie? No! This was America’s reality captured by cell phone footage for the world to witness.
Many are still asking why? When will the killing and unlawful behavior under the disguise of law and order end? Thousands of protesters took to the streets, parks and prominent locations to be heard despite the risk of a global pandemic (COVID-19). Some protests were peaceful and some ended in violence as emotions flared out of control.
Unfortunately, many seized the opportunity to riot, loot, set fires, and engage in criminal and violent activities. Violence is never the right response to violence! It only results in more lawlessness and violence.
I was not going to the streets to protest. I refused the temptation to post on social media to attract a barrage of opinions and hate-driven comments that would add fuel to the flame and distract me from the place where I would receive strength and healing. I had to retreat to the secret place where I could receive what I needed to get through disturbing and disappointing “trends” prevalent in this crazy world. There has to be more to be revealed when I seek the One who sees all and knows all. What could I do personally that would be most effective? I will protest on my knees and cry out in my closet to God for justice! I will fight this war the only way I know to win-- PRAY! For me, prayer is my go-to weapon! Prayer and the Word of God are the most powerful tools in my spiritual arsenal. I use them consistently in “spiritual protest” of the evil ever present in this fallen world. I am convinced that God is not pleased with this trend! God’s Word is true, whether people believe it or not.
What the world witnessed in both videos of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd was the revealed condition of the heart that does not know the love of God. To boldly commit such inhumane acts against another human being regardless of skin color is the manifestation of a wicked heart.
Here is what the Word of God says through the prophet Jeremiah:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
As I pondered what I saw over and over again, my heart broke again and again! The replays on mainstream media and social media kept the flames of anger burning mixed with disbelief that our nation had sunken to this level of wickedness. Forget being great again! We have been traveling down this crooked path for a long time. Can the God we proclaim to trust redeem a nation so stained with hatred?
It is a heart matter, but with God nothing is impossible. His unconditional love for the whole human race was demonstrated by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The ills of society are great, but the God in whom we say we trust is the answer.
Can we pray collectively? (Taken from the Prayer of Repentance in Psalms 51):
Have mercy upon us, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out our transgressions. Wash us thoroughly from our iniquity, and cleanse us from sin.
For we acknowledge our transgressions, and sin is always before us; evil is ever-present. Against You, You only, have we sinned, and done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge.
Behold, we were brought forth in iniquity, and in sin our mothers conceived us. Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make us to know wisdom. Purge us with hyssop, and we shall be clean; wash us, and we shall be whiter than snow. Create in us a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within us. Forgive us, O God we pray. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright 2020. Queen E. Phillips. All rights reserved.