Updated: Jul 1, 2020
I have been, like so many around the world, consumed in witnessing the horrific death of George Floyd which has brought to light the many centuries of oppression and systemic issue of racism against people of colour. We are confronted with the absolute evil of the devaluing of human life and the suffering of those who have been silenced for years. I am learning to listen. To listen without always needing to have an answer. To listen to the stories of lives I have never lived. Learning to know how and where and when to take action. However seemingly insignificant and small it may be. Continually seeking to educate myself on racism, to be aware of the in-numerous number of ways I have profited from it, regardless of how unaware in the past I may have been. I believe to make your life all about Jesus is to make your life all about others. They are inseparable. It is a life of living that seeks to not just love those who love you, but those who vehemently oppose you. To speak up for those who can't speak for themselves. Continually seeking justice and dispensing mercy. To care for those who can't do anything for you in return. To mourn with those who mourn. In the picture of the cross we see a God who was willing to suffer with us and not apart from us. We may not have all the answers to all the suffering we see happen in the world and in our own lives- but we can be assured in the midst of despair we are not alone and we can face that which seems insurmountable with hope and courage. In the life of Jesus we see a life that sought justice for the oppressed, marginalised and abused of society, those who were deemed unworthy of love and outcast. He teaches the inestimable worth and value of each human being and that every single person is so uniquely endowed with the ineffable quality of the Divine. May we have the courage to recognise in ourselves what needs to change and pursue love by way of first knowing He who is Love.
I wrote a poem below as I was feeling quite overwhelmed by hopelessness and the weight of grief this week. Regardless of what belief you hold to, may these words enlighten your heart to hope and to find a moment of pause for your soul to be comforted in. Let us endeavour towards seeing and celebrating all the diversely rich, glorious and wonderful ways in which we were all so uniquely created.
I alone, can be a listening ear— but I am not the answer. I alone, cannot carry the insurmountable weight of suffering.
I alone, cannot not fathom the depthless depths of despair.
I alone, cannot grasp the magnitude of pain another suffers through.
I alone, cannot possibly understand it all— but I do know that it is always the darkest before the dawn.
I alone, cannot heal the wounds a heart carries.
I alone, cannot carry the burdens that torment the soul.
But I alone, if not we, can point to the One who can. The One whom laid aside His immunity to pain,
and willingly subjected Himself to him the tears, the blood and the mire of human suffering.
The One to whom is no stranger to the anguish of grief stricken souls-
He who embraces humanity where it stands most in need. When the question of why and intellect has been exhausted, the answer you give the weary heart always remains the same— “I am here, you are never alone”
So, my beloved, gather all your weeping
and come to a hill called Calvary.
In the place of ultimate suffering you will also find the greatest victory,
the convergence of grace and disgrace.
In amongst the crown of crimson thorns,
Love triumphs over death,
Mercy rules over judgement,
This blood bought gift of salvation.
He offers hope in the midst of agony,
comfort to all who mourn and
courage in the face of fear.
He alone, only He alone, can.
Photo by: Mark Hartman
There are many ways in which you can donate to those in need, if you have the means, however little--- it all counts. Here are just a few;
Justice for David Dungay Junior https://www.gofundme.com/f/d9qkb6-justice-for-david?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link-tip&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet
(find more on this page) https://au.gofundme.com/c/act/black-lives-matter-australia
Ahmaud Arbery https://gf.me/u/x3j4qf