I was being nosy...
when I walked into a small coffee shop in Tyrone, GA this morning and saw a group of five middle-aged white men with pickup trucks in the parking lot and open Bibles in their hands. As they discussed the failings of Eli the priest in 1 Samuel 2, I couldn't help but wonder what they thought about the "current events."
Sure enough as they ended their discussion they asked for prayer requests. One of them replied, "We should pray for our nation."
But what exactly would they pray for?
For the next few minutes, I listened as they lamented the state of our nation and humbly acknowledged that the "storming of the capitol" was a culmination of what has been happening over the last few years. They also took responsibility saying, "I hope we learn our lesson." Their tone was one of sobriety and self-reflection.
They went on to request prayers for those affected by the coronavirus and the health-care workers that are being overwhelmed saying, "I know people don't believe it's real, but this is happening right here in our own town. This is real."
As they prayed, I joined them silently from across the room. When they said, "Amen," I looked over and said, "Amen," with them. And as they walked out the door, we did what good southerners do: we exchanged God Bless Yous.
To my brothers and sisters of color, especially my black brothers and sisters, this reminds me that we have white brothers and sisters that recognize that yesterday’s events were not ok and are trying to do what is right.
To my white brothers and sisters please understand that your counterparts of color watched yesterday from a very different lens and are striving to come to terms with the historical and prevailing duplicity of this nation.
This is not the time to retreat into our perceived ideological tribes but to continue to join with true disciples of Jesus Christ of all races and across political parties to be peacemakers and bring not only hope, but also solutions, to a lost and dying world.
"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." ~ Romans 12:21