I’m a cop kid. My father was a Police Officer for over thirty years.
I’m a white male with a beard, who grew up in a diverse, largely affluent region – Orange County.
I’m also a Pastor and Church Leader.
Most importantly, I’m a faithful, grateful follower of Jesus.
When it comes to situations and times like this week, I have to listen before I speak. As a leader, I think that is one of the most important things I have ever learned. Listen, then speak. In this case, I can’t even begin to understand what it is like for my African-American Brothers and Sisters. I just can’t.
I want to, but I just can’t.
See, on top of being a white male, my father was a Cop. I’ve known from a very early age Cops aren’t bad and they are out to protect me. They are here to help me. They are (for the most part) good people who want to serve and help people. That’s what I know because I grew up in Orange County, the son of a cop, and as a white male.
That’s not true for everyone.
When I get pulled over, I know all I have to do is smile, keep my hands visible, and do what the officer asks me to do. It also helps that I’ve never been pulled over for anything bad, plus growing up as a Cop kid, I knew Cops treated their fellow Cops well and I had nothing to worry about.
I’ve been blessed to know and see Police Officers who are good. Yet, just like in all things, not all of them are good.
I know a lot of what we see playing out can be blamed on training – I could justify it as a Cop kid if I really wanted to. But, that’s not the point here. I want to listen; I want to mourn with those who mourn.
The point here is there are people who are hurting; a group of people who are hurting. I care about that.
Like the quote at the top of the post, I’m struck by the idea of how much attention Jesus paid to groups of people. What I’m more struck by is how much Jesus cares about the individual. In all those situations, there was one person Jesus would seek out…
I started writing this post before the mayhem in Dallas tonight. I’ve been at a loss for words and stopped at the last paragraph. I thought about editing the post and cleaning up this hard break, but it feels like an adequate representation of my soul – so I won’t.
I’m struck by a deep gratitude that my father hung up his badge a few years ago. I’m struck by how much this world needs Jesus. I’m struck by how divided the church is; I’m struck by how much our world needs a multi-cultural church o show the world how to live and operate in the 21st Century.
In the words of Rodney King, “Why can’t we all just get along?”
Maybe I’m naive. Maybe I’m silly. Maybe I’m crazy. I think the church can fix this but not as a segregated church.
We need each other.
Young and old.
African-American and white; Asian and Latin; police and former gang members; poor, rich, and middle class; politicians, lawyers, and construction workers.
We need each other.
We need each other to understand different perspectives; we need to come together in order to see our commonality’s; we need to practice unity in order to be unified.
My soul hurts.
Jesus we need hope. We need You. We need You in our country. Most importantly we need You to unite Your church and show us how to live out our multi-cultural calling of Revelation 7:9.