I stand with you.
I stand with you.
I say your name.
I say your name to acknowledge the injustice. I write this to give you a voice when you were not heard.
I stand against racism.
I stand next to and with the black community – I stand with you in unity – in knowing full well that violence against black people is not ok. Racial violence in any form is not and never will be ok.
I cannot afford to be silent – as silence signifies complacency. I will not sit in complacency – so I rise and I stand beside you, I’ll take your hand and say, I am with you – just as God says, I am with you – I will not leave you or forsake you – I have no intentions to harm you but to prosper you.
I stand with you.
George Floyd – I stand for you – I stand for all the men, women and children who have suffered at the hand of racial violence over the centuries – I stand for you. I write this for you, to give you a voice.
… In truth, I feel wildly under-qualified to discuss this topic… especially as a white Australian woman who has not encountered racial discrimination or violence. I am white – but it is the colour of my skin, it does not define me – yet people in the world will try. I live and was born in Australia; it is my nationality by birth – but by blood I am a mix of nationalities. On my mother’s side, my grandfather is German, he moved to Australia in the 50s post-world war II and my grandmother is English from Yorkshire. On my father’s side, his mother’s mother was American… And genetically, I was given my nanna’s (on my mum’s side) coloring of fair skin and red hair – which in truth, is not suited for Australian summers at all. It is not even a little bit culturally appropriate as it leads to severe sunburn and freckles (and that is while avoiding the hottest part of the day and using sun protection.) … Just by my colouring I could see that I could easily be mistaken for being Irish or Scottish – until I open my mouth and you discover I do not have a lyrical Irish lilt to my voice. Instead it is more of an Aussie linger…
The point I am trying to make, is my skin colour and nationality contributes to my identity, but I am more than my skin colour and national identity – just as you are too. I am a daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin, a mother, a nurse with a creative flare. I love and care deeply and can be wildly hilarious in a quirky way (although humour is entirely subjective, so you will have to take my word for it!!) I am empathetic and can cry easily – only because I care and feel things deeply. This could be a form of weakness; especially in the eyes of the world – but in truth it takes great strength to show that kind of vulnerability…
What I am trying to say, is that I am someone to someone else. I have feelings, hopes and dreams. And I am loved deeply by those that know me. I am saying this, as this applies – to black lives and to all; all races; colours and nationalities. George Floyd was a black man – but more than that – he was a man. He was a person with God given breath in his lungs, with a heart that pumped red blood – like us all. He was someone to someone else and he was deeply loved by those that knew him. What happened to him is unfathamable – to think a life and a person that is so loved by someone else – can be so quickly devalued and disregarded because of his skin colour – is truely heartbreaking.
I know I write this from a white privelige perspective – and truely, I dislike that word as it places emphasisis on racial division and distinction. I wish there wasn’t that gap. I pray in the name of Jesus, that we may be able to see one another through God’s eyes – that we can see beyond our external appearance – and see ourselves at the heart of who we are. To see the person first while being culturally sensitive and aware. I do not want to add to racial discrimination – I want to rise and stand against it. I want you to rise and stand against it with me.
… In feeling under-qualified to speak on this, I have stopped and started and deleted this a few times. I handed this over to God, I knew… but did not know what I wanted to say. So, last night before going to sleep – I asked – what do you want me to say? What do you want me to say because – I don’t like forcing out my own words… Apart of me knew, in this feeling of under-qualification – God was in fact qualifying me to speak into this, for He would equip me with the words I needed to deliver the message He wants delivered. This feeling of being under qualified forced me to lean not on my own understanding but to seek the Lord with all my heart. I also knew, if I gave way to this feeling – if I listened to that feeling, it would be easy to remain silent… I knew even more that I could not keep silent. But I did not want to speak out of my own authority – I invited God into this by asking, what do you want me to say?
Before going to sleep, I knew that I would wake with what I needed to say. But before this, I saw a post on Instagram by Juliane Moore (another/fellow bonnie redheaded lass) on #BlackLivesMatter. She wrote:
I have privilege as a white person because I can do all of these things without thinking twice:
I can go birding (#ChristianCooper)
I can go jogging (#AmaudArbery)
I can relax in the comfort of my own home (#BothemSean and #AtatianaJefferson)
I can ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride)
I can have a cellphone (#StephonClark)
I can leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards)
I can play loud music (#JordanDavis)
I can sell CDs (#AltonSterling)
I can sleep (#AiyanaJones)
I can walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown)
I can play cops and robbers (#TamirRice)
I can go to church (#Charleston9)
I can walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin)
I can hold a hair brush while leaving my own bachelor party (#SeanBell)
I can party on New Years (#OscarGrant)
I can get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland)
I can lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile)
I can break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones)
I can shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford)
I can have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher)
I can read a book in my own car (#KeithScott)
I can be a 10yr old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover)
I can decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese)
I can ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans)
I can cash a check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood)
I can take out my wallet (#AmadouDiallo)
I can run (#WalterScott)
I can breathe (#EricGarner)
I can live (#FreddieGray)
I CAN BE ARRESTED WITHOUT THE FEAR OF BEING MURDERED (#GeorgeFloyd)
White privilege is real. Take a minute to consider a Black person’s experience today.
… This post packed a silent yet loud punch. I could see these simple things in life are liberties to me, while for others – they are not. This difference in these liberties boiled down to skin colour and consequently are met with the daily threat of racial violence. I cannot imagine what it would be like living with that kind of background fear. I have never been able to understand racial hatred and violence. I have always valued people, their culture; experiences and the diverse perspective that they can bring, whether it is a working relationship or personal friendship. To me, I don’t just see skin colour or nationality, but I see the person – the fierce and wonderful handiwork of God. When lives are lost due to racial violence, it is truly heartbreaking.
Black lives matter because to Jesus all lives matter.
I stand by this and as I stand by this – I stand by you – I take your hand in unity – to say I stand with you. I stand with you in this injustice. I stand with you in firm peace to break this division. I stand with you to break this racial division. I am not better that you because I am white… I have my own struggles… But this isn’t about me – it is about the injustice and mal-treatment of black lives. I certainly do not see myself as being better than you – and nor are you better than me – we are equals – although the world will tell us we are not equal. But I am standing with you against the world to say we are equal.
We are equal. Once we start truly believing and knowing that – change will start – but it needs to come from inside us first – in order for it to match up with our actions.
We are equal.
Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. (John 13:16 ESV)
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. (Galatians 3:27-29 ESV)
Those of us that are baptised into Christ we are made one in Jesus Christ – there is no male or female. And perhaps we should take it one step further, in saying there is no skin colour – and nationalities – no one colour, or nation is better than another for we are all made one in Jesus. Do not get me wrong – this is not to say we should totally disregard our colour and culture – by no means. We should celebrate it and celebrate all the nations and people of the world – for God made us and made us all in His image. What is not to celebrate in that? But the coming of one – means we mearge together like a rainbow – we each standout but shine together as one in the body of Christ. In Jesus there are no barriers or differences between us. Just like each part of the body is made with a function and purpose – no part is any more or less important but is made to serve a particular function and it works together for greater functioning of the whole body. The same applies to us in representing the body of Christ… Now, in the world, there should be no barriers or differences between us. But there is. And it’s painful and at times glaringly obvious.
For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? (James 2:2-4 ESV)
This verse shows how mankind places division amongst us; and can place value in wealth over poverty. In context of the world, and in the above verse, if we replaced one of these men with dark skin and the other with white. It gives way to racial distinctions; one is given preference to the other. This make us our own judges and makes way for evil thoughts and actions to flow from it…
There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers (Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV).
The world is ruled by chaos, nations continue to rise-up against one another. This event that happened to George Floyd is calling us to love one another more, to love others as Jesus first loved us, so others will see that we are his disciples. This is calling us to respond rather than react in emotions; anger and hurt. This is calling us to be counterintuitive; to drop our weapons, guard our mouths and tongues from unleashing hateful speech and to guard our hearts; forgive and rise-up together to stand firm in peace and unity. I will validate when you feel unvalidated. I hear you when no one is listening. I see you – when feel no one can see you. I will validate you and say, you are worthy and your life and contribution to the world matters. Your life matters. And the world needs your voice. What happened to George Floyd it was truly devastating – and it has been felt around the world. But it was also the straw that broke the camels back… and I can see it is causing a great stiring. I strongly feel this stiring, is paving a way for change.
This morning, I woke and was given these words to say, I am sorry. This is an extension of an olive branch – to say, I come in peace. And this ‘sorry’ is not just for the black community which is longing to hear this. It is a collective ‘I am sorry’, it is for all people of the world who have faced racial discrimination, oppression, violence, torture, or death. Past, present, and future – please, God forbid.
I am sorry. For all the lost dreams, hope and laughter that was taken all too soon.
I am sorry. For the families that have been torn apart and left with nothing.
I am sorry for the fear and worry you hold onto regarding the safety of your life and the lives of your children.
I am sorry that your people have suffered and may still feel the effects of that trauma.
I am sorry. I am sorry for the devaluation of lives and culture that has been oppressed.
I am sorry for the fight you have had to fight to get to where you are today – yet still feel oppressed.
I am sorry there is still oppression and indifference. This racial indifference has been happening for centuries and all around the world and it needs to stop.
I am sincerely sorry.
… Now… I know I did not cause this racial indifference but… someone needs to say it, it is about being held accountable, it is about acknowledging and validating the pain that all this hatred has caused.
I see it, I hear it. I hear you and I am sorry.
I sincerely hope and pray this makes way for forgiveness – not to say or excuse what has happened. Never – as we know the shedding of innocent blood is an abomination in God’s eyes and justice will be received by law. This is calling us to respond in love and forgiveness, this forgiveness is for the benefit of your own heart – as Christian’s we cannot afford to have our hearts calcified; hardened as it will affect how we love others.
Know that justice will be received for the lives lost and while it may feel counterintuitive, we need God’s grace to be able to forgive – just as He forgave us. I know it is difficult to forgive while you are hurting, in shock and angry – allow yourself to grieve; feel and process those emotions but do not react in those emotions as it may only stir up more trouble. As Jesus said, ‘turn the other cheek’, in other words walk away; do not add to the fight – turn to God first but do not turn a blind eye. I did not want to turn a blind eye to this, as if to say this kind of behaviour is acceptable. It is not acceptable, and I am choosing my words wisely so not to stir-up further anger and division. The devil thrives on division and chaos – and I will not give him that power or satisfaction.
I stand to promote peace and unity.
I stand to promote the light of the world.
And right now, the world needs Jesus more than ever. In this, I ask you to stand with me – wherever you are in the world; regardless of your nationality and skin colour – these contribute to our identity, but we are more than this. Yes – #BlackLivesMatter – I stand with you on this, I take your hand and say, I am here for you and with you and ask you to stand with me on this too, for #AllLivesMatter to Jesus and the one who sent him into the world.
#BlackLivesMatter – I stand with you.
#AllLivesMatter – stand with me.
Please share this – wherever you are in the world. Together let us break this division and make way for unity – and stand together against racial division.
You know the world is in chaos – nations rise against nations and have done so for centuries. You know the enemy thrives on this chaos and division. We invite you into this division – we ask for your grace and power in healing our division – healing our brokenness, pain and trauma associated with racial violence…
May the light of Jesus shine in this time – fill our hearts with your love, your grace and your forgiveness. Guard our hearts, guard our tongues from hurtful and hate-filled speech. Fill us with your spirit, your love, knowledge, wisdom, and words – so we may speak life and light into this darkness. Remove fear from our minds and fill us with your truth and peace – peace that surpasses the worlds understanding of peace.
You are the great way maker and I pray you make a way for national – worldwide unity. Lord, I know you stand with me on this, – so, I too stand for this. I pray for a peaceful uprising into unity – in Jesus glorious and mighty name I pray, amen.
Author: Elizabeth New
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