I get it. I’m a white 30-year-old male speaking from an outsiders view of things. How can my opinion be anything but biased? What’s going on in Ferguson is touching a deep-seated emotion embedded in my soul. I was 8 years old when I saw images of downtown Los Angeles being torn apart by rioters after members of the LAPD were caught beating an unarmed African-American motorist. Just hours after the verdicts were handed down outrage and protest turned to violence. Freeways were blocked and numerous fires were set to downtown buildings and businesses. Sound familiar?
I can still remember seeing the smoke rise into the air from the San Fernando Valley, where I lived in the most populous city in the valley and the poorest. Growing up in L.A. wasn’t the easiest for me or my family. Were weren’t wealthy, nor did we live in a nice house but we were white. We had things, opportunities that others didn’t have. I even had things my black friends didn’t have, resources they couldn’t afford. I grew up without a mom or dad in the picture and to be frank, neither did most of my friends. So what’s point? Why even write at all? Because I’ve been there, I’ve seen my own neighborhood begin to crumble under the weight of the rawest of human depravity. I’m not saying the police were right. I’m not saying the rioters were right. This issue goes beyond and deeper than anything that happened on the surface.
When I see what happened in Ferguson and other places around this country with similar stories it breaks my hearts. It makes me angry to know that this was not the way God created things to be. When I fall on my face before God I am constantly aware of my inadequacies before the throne of the Almighty. It is there at the foot of the cross I see the hurt of this world reconciled. I see justice and mercy meet. That’s where we should all be but I know that’s not what’s happening here. We live in a broken world full or broken people and broken emotion. We want justice even at the cost of mercy. Is that the way God see’s things?
In Micah 6:8 we see what God would require of us. He told us that we should, “do justice and love kindness and to walk humbly with God.” This is so far from what we see going on in places like Ferguson. Is this a race issue, yes. Is this a power issue, yes. Is this an urban issue, no! This very issue touches the heart of God and should move us as well. We are sinful creatures and live like we are so, and now more so than ever. Here we see the rawest of human emotion meeting with the undeniable plea for something greater than us, something we can grab onto and have faith in. Here I see a world searching for a man who did not equality with God something to be grasped. Here I see in the ashes of a broken world the longing for eternity in our hearts, and it breaks mine to know that we are not home yet. In the midst of this painful grief I see something greater than a verdict, something more sure than a Grand Jury. I see Christ.
So here they are, my words on the situation in Ferguson. I can relate to those who are just watching their city crumble under the weight of this tragedy. I will never know what it’s like to be hated on the account of my skin color or the part of the neighborhood I’m from. However, I do know what it’s like to see the outcry from a city slowly collapsing on itself. I feel the weight of glory and the nearness of his coming. I feel the hurt that justice is silent and pain goes unnoticed. One day it won’t be like this. We will be, as the book of Revelation tells us, before the throne of God with those from every tribe and tongue. Every nation will take part in the glory of God and oh how great it will be. I can’t wait to see that day when my brothers and sisters are resurrected with new bodies and the tears are wiped from their eyes. There will be no more hurt, no more rioting, no more pain, and it will be glorious.