My heart is broken. A boy was murdered. A mother still grieves. And a nation is once again polarized and sharply divided along racial lines.
For the last three weeks, I only allowed myself to watch highlights about the Zimmerman case and read articles online occasionally to keep updated. I was trying my best not to get too emotionally entangled in the already heart-wrenching story of Trayvon Martin. My efforts proved to be somewhat futile because when I heard the verdict of ‘not guilty,’ my heart dropped. Once again the American criminal justice system utterly failed. No differently than it had failed Oscar Grant in 2009, Rodney King in 1992, and Emmitt Till in 1955. However, failure is to be expected for any man-made system that is not in submission or alignment with God’s Kingdom.
I realize that I, like many other Christians, were placing too much of my hope in a corruptible man-made legal system to bring about justice. The American justice system is mans futile attempt to contain, deter, and reduce the fruit of societies true problem (sin). Which is about as effective as putting a band aid on a decapitated arm. For every one Trayvon Martin case that is nationally heard, there are HUNDREDS of murdered black and brown boys who’s cases never even make it to trial.
Jesus is the ONLY resolution for our sin ridden world, and the Kingdom of God is where true justice is established. We cannot place our hope for justice in anyone other than Christ. He assures us that in this world we will have trials, tribulations, and sufferings, but we are to put our hope in Him knowing that He, and He alone, has overcome the world (John 16.33).
Christians, we are the salt and light of the earth! Society cannot and will not change until we do. The more people who come to know Christ and commit their lives to Him the more this broken world will heal. In tragic moments such as these we can express our support, our grief, and even our righteous anger. But we should NEVER express hopelessness, knowing that at the end of the day God is in control and absolutely nothing has ever or will ever take Him by surprise. And we should never express hatred. There are way too many believers tweeting, blogging, FB ranting, IG posting, extreme hatred and even wishing death upon Zimmerman. He, (just like the rest of us) will one day stand before the author and finisher of justice and give an account for his actions. This does not mean we idly stand by as injustices happen around us, but when our earthly system fail us we know The Lord has the final say. Until then, Zimmerman is still a human being with a family that loves him, and who as Christians we too are called to love.
As believers we need to resist the temptation to react from our emotions and instead respond with the love of Christ.
3 Ways Christians should respond to this verdict…
1) Examine ourselves. Are we adding to the problem by spewing hatred and hopelessness? By all means be angry, but sin NOT (Ephesians 4:26). Are we putting our trust in man-made systems, or the Creator of the Universe?
2) PRAY. Pray earnestly that the Martin family would have the Lord’s peace, comfort, and healing. Pray for our nation, for unity and racial reconciliation. And pray against division and racial polarization. Pray for salvation for our law-makers to see true change within the system. Pray that Zimmerman and his family would come to know Christ. Pray without ceasing! (1st Thess. 5:17)..
3) No matter how many experts insist, we are NOT in a “post-racial era.” Regardless of who is in the White House, the fact remains that we still live in a racialized society; with few groups of people receiving privileges, and many groups of people, who are in various forms institutionally oppressed (minorities). We cannot afford for anyone to turn a blind eye or dismiss/belittle the much larger racial systemic problem at hand. Therefore, it is ESSENTIAL that privileged Christians seek to stand in solidarity and battle alongside people with problems that look completely different than their own. (Romans 12:15-16).
True Justice can only be found in Christ. Spread the Gospel to bring about true change! I pray this verdict serves as the ignition for widespread revival for our nation.
I know many of you are hurting fam, I am too, but be of good cheer!!
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” 2 Corinthians 4:17