June 9, 2020 - Voices
When I woke up this morning I asked myself, "What good is a voice if you do not use it?" If you have a voice to sing, but you do not use it, you may lose the gift God has given you. In using our voices, may we use them to be productive and not in a destructive manner. This is a wonderful time for all of us to use our voices in bringing about change, especially systemic racism.
I believe that when we are promoting and suggesting change, there must be building blocks. The first building block is purpose. With the present state of affairs in America, it is without doubt the protesters all over the world understand the purpose of the marches. It appears that there is a very diverse group of people in America and abroad who understand the need for justice and equality for all people. The death of George Floyd has ignited a fire in the belly of the people so much so that they are now hungry and thirsty in stamping out racism.
The second building block in bringing about change requires people, not just any people, but "All" people coming together. Isn't it a beautiful thing to see such diversity among the protesters in the different cities and countries? People all over the world are building on these blocks for the betterment of humanity.
The third block to build on is persistence. In some cities the protesters have been in the streets for 14 days and are continuing to gain momentum. For me, it is an amazing thing seeing the thousands of people fighting for a cause and doing it peacefully and in unity.
The next building block you need is continuous unpredictable behavior. My point is this, who would predict that thousands of people are marching to bring about change regarding police brutality, yet there are still cases brought forth daily. You would not expect law enforcement to continue their bad behavior while the world is watching. It is ridiculous knowing you are wearing a body camera and you still use excessive force in arresting persons. What it does is add strength and validity to the cause.
The next building block needed is people with voices. It took a little time before we heard the voices of African Americans in leadership positions, but once they spoke it added more strength and meaning to the cause. These voices we are now hearing are ones that most African Americans respect, appreciate and love. The voice of former President Barack Obama has brought about calm and assurance that this is the right thing to do. The voice of Colin Powell speaks volumes. He has proven that it does not matter which political party you are affiliated with, you must have the conscience to do the right thing. A man or woman who stands on principles will win your heart.
Michael Jordan has spoken with his money. Say what you wish, the brother has proven that he has a heart for his people. He has demonstrated that he wants to give back to society. Others are beginning to follow suit. The voice of retired United States Marine Corps general, James Mattis, was resounding and very clear. He could not remain silent and he spoke loudly against those who have gone against the constitution of the United States. Mayor Muriel Bowser has taken the gloves off and let the world know that "Black Lives Matter." Not only has her voice been heard, but she has strutted in her talk. Valarie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to Barack Obama, has spoken boldly, "We expect action, we expect justice. Finally, the NFL has raised its voice with this statement, "We the NFL condemn racism and the systemic oppression of black people," Goodall said. There are many more, but my point is simply that all of us have a voice and a vote and we must use them for this change that is on the horizon.
One news report stated that 81 former defense officials have spoken against President Donald Trump's response to the protests. These are prominent voices that people respect and appreciate. We are listening!
As a follower of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is always speaking to us. There is no better time than now to listen to his voice for guidance and direction. I admonish you to follow Him and you will begin to hear his voice speaking to your heart.
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27
Not a sermon, just a thought!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor