A young man lost his life on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri His parents are grieving, and his community is in crisis. A law-enforcement officer is in seclusion in fear for his life. His family also hurts, and his brothers in uniform are on the defensive.
As images of demonstrations appear on television, we grieve as well. Incidents like this remind us that we still have much ground to travel on the road to social justice and racial equality.
As Christ followers, how can we respond to this painful reality in a way that honors our Savior? If Christ were walking the streets of Ferguson today, how would He respond to demonstrators? How would Christ advise local law enforcement? I don't have all the answers to those questions, but I do have four suggestions from Scripture on how to respond with a missional heart:
"...for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young—let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance" (Prov. 1:3-5, NIV).
"Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause" (Is. 1:16-17, ESV).
3. Look Within
"If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?" (Luke 5:46-47, NIV)
"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8, ESV).
Jesus does not physically walk the streets of Ferguson today, but we are His hands and feet sent to loose the bonds of wickedness and injustice by bringing His light and healing to our communities. In the midst of confusion and grief and misunderstanding, we are called to listen and love. May God give us greater understanding as we look within and move forward together in His Name.
Reprinted with permission from Missional Women. Lyli Dunbar serves as Associate Director of Curriculum at Trinity International University Florida.