Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our GodPosted: July 8, 2016
I shall never forget the phone call I received from my brother December 23, 2013. He said, “Gale has been shot.” Gale Stauffer, my nephew, my sister’s son, a police officer in Tupelo, MS, shot in the line of duty. For our family, his death forever altered our lives. For his children, Dixie and Skip, will live with the memory of their dad, his big smile, barrel chest, heart of gold. For Beth, her life spun into the realm of widow, single mother, sole provider.
For every life that is lost at the hands of a police officer, the grief of a family member is no different than the grief of our family. Someone loved, cared about, and was related to the person killed by a police officer.
Regardless of the complication, the deep seated, underlying truth is that the racial turbulence that is raging into a full blown storm, is deeply troubling. With the Psalmist, we cry, “how long, O Lord, how long?”
One of our pastor’s writes: Friends, this morning I’m hurting. I’m scared. I’m afraid that when my cute, six year old black son becomes a muscular black man some bad apple somewhere is going to profile him and do harm to this kid who is as sweet as they come.
I have no idea what it feels like to be a black man in this world. What I do know is that too many people are dying. Indeed, the call to us all, in light of terrorism, the mass killing at the Pulse bar in Orlando, there is no justification for taking a life.
Let’s face it, the world is full of people who are culturally profiling others who are different. Some of those who are culturally profiled daily, hourly, are black and Hispanic men.
The prophet Micah speaks: “And what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Doing justice today is to speak the truth. And the truth is that we have a deep seated racial problem in our world. Tennessee and Kentucky are not immune to the trouble.
During the recent meeting of the Tennessee Annual Conference, our Commission on Religion and Race brought forth and we blessed “Vital Conversations” which give us an opportunity to increase our capacity to deepen our relationships with our sisters and brothers who are of a different race from us.
I am deeply hopeful that the team that is bringing this forth will give us the tools necessary to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. The world’s best hope is for good, Christian people to stand up and be healers of our nation. I know the people of the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences to be those who desire to bring healing and peace to our land.