Jesus in Ferguson, Jesus in our Hearts

I’m trying to articulate my thoughts as slowly and respectfully as possible.

I’m trying to wrap my head around the grief and brokenness and separateness that still plagues our country.

I’m trying to understand.

Someone said yesterday that they were sick of Christians’ response to Ferguson. I assume they mean the white Christian response to Ferguson. They said they wished people would act more like Jesus. And so I wondered, what would Jesus do…today…right now. Well. I’m a white Christian girl, and I believe that Jesus is alive. And I believe He is responding.

But I don’t think he is responding the way we think he is. Some of us think he is with the white folk and some of us think he is with the black folks.

Friends, He is not on one side or the other. Yet, he is not a pacifist, bolding proclaiming truth and calling out sin and still, he is not fighting in the streets. And in case you didn’t know…he didn’t have time to mess with the government.  He is not involved in the protests. He is not part of the media (I think this part must disgust him the most). This is not the way of Jesus. Jesus looks above these human attempts at reform and into our hearts. Into people’s HEARTS. Into people’s LIVES.

You see, Jesus walks among us.  If we let him, he is quietly listening and chastening our hearts to a Father, a Father who sees no color, no race, no ethnicity, no sex. A Father who created us in His image and to glorify Him.

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Have you read the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman? The time when he talked with an outcast from a people group so marginalized that Jews would walk around their cities, and she was a woman who’d had 5 husbands, and was living with a new man to whom she was NOT married? In his love for her, he told her there was a better way.

Have you read the story about when Jesus asked those about to stone a prostitute about their own hearts? Were they clean? Had they not sinned? Had they not offended? And they all walked away…because none of them were without blemish. Not one. But neither was she. And he tells her, “GO and leave your life of sin.” 

We are all the Pharisees and we are all the prostitute.

Remember when Jesus told us plainly to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us?

Jesus’ ways are different.They are better. But so often, we try to put him into a political boat. We make him white or black, when he is GOD.

Jesus loves the marginalized. He loves the hurting. But he wants more for us. He wants us all to live blameless lives. He wants more than our finger pointing on social media, and our stereotyping, and our close minds and hearts. He wants more than our protests and our cop car burning and our looting. He wants more for BOTH SIDES. We are all in the wrong.

We are all the same to him. There are no sides. And he loves us equally. And I am certain he is grieving for us. And we can’t seem to pull it together…because we aren’t doing the one thing HE DID. Which is TALK and LISTEN and LOVE.

You and I were not there that hot summer night in Missouri. It is one man’s word against another man’s word and let me remind us, we will never know what really happened. And the toll was far greater than one man’s life in the street.  The toll isn’t decided yet…it is still growing.

Before you point fingers in either direction…before you continue in hatred…and misunderstanding…

This Thanksgiving, hold hands across the table with someone different. Someone hurting. Someone who is ok. Look into their eyes. Know their story. Talk and listen. That is the face of Jesus.

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