But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
– Lamentations 3:21-24
The lamenter in Lamentations penned these verses in the midst of utter destruction: Jerusalem was being burned, ransacked, destroyed. Yet, somehow, in the midst of it all, he still is able to reflect on the greatness of our God.
Sometimes, it is just too hard for us to do, even in the midst of great brokenness revealed. This past week demonstrated just that. From the racially charged protests at Mizzou leading to the resignations of top administrators, to the tragic bombings in Beirut and Paris. This week has slammed human brokenness to the front and center.
And we feel hopeless. So we take to social media and we align ourselves with the “right” side. You side with the student protesters at Mizzou to avoid looking like a racist. You state that you are #prayingforparis. But are you really?
Racism is a nuanced issue. The protesters did it no justice by fabricating stories, using the improper channels to have their voices heard and calling for the resignation of two people who cannot change the climate at MU.
Is that okay for me to say? First amendment rights have been amended to be only those who agree with certain expressed opinions, as the mass media professor at MU suggested through her actions.
But racism is real. White privilege is real. And, I’m sorry, white people will never understand their privilege because it’s ingrained in them, just as being a person of a different or multiple ethnicities is ingrained in you (me). Our experiences are unique.
And that’s how we were designed to be… unique.
Yet this world is fallen. And people will disparage others based off of the color of their skin. They will assume certain facts about others based off the color of their skin. We are broken.
So broken, that there are sects of people who promote the raping of apostates and young children, the bombing of innocents, just to fulfill their beliefs. It’s as if the crusades of yesteryear have taken on a new look. Instead of riding on horseback against the Moors, the everyday people are being hunted for simply not believing in something they didn’t know they were suppose to believe in. And yet, how could we believe in such a radical theology.
We are broken.
Racism. Extremism. Sexism. Any other sort of discrimination. They were not suppose to be. They are all a result of sin that broke into the garden and destroyed paradise.
Earth truly is paradise lost.
And yet, the lamenter, in the midst of utter chaos, still remembers God’s steadfast faithfulness. So pray for Paris. Pray for the world. Pray for me. And you. And your neighbor. Because we are all broken.