The murder of George Floyd is a horrific tragedy that cries unto Heaven. Demands for justice continue to resound as historic churches and government buildings are set aflame. City-wide curfews are instituted as retail stores are looted without shame. Social media is a mob scene until millions of us go silent in solidarity with the black community across the country.
While it’s difficult to understand the intricacies of systematic racism, there’s no doubt that we’re living in a culture of systematic evil. At what point did we allow righteous cries and peaceful protests to be drowned out by angry rioters? Was the coronavirus simply the straw that broke the camel’s back of our societal unrest? As I throw my voice into the noise, I’m immediately reminded of a quote from one of my living heroes, Robert Cardinal Sarah:
“The greatest things are accomplished in silence — not in the clamor and display of superficial eventfulness, but in the deep clarity of inner vision; in the almost imperceptible start of decision, in quiet overcoming and hidden sacrifice.”
As a native African who grew up in a remote village in Guinea during a time of tremendous oppression, Cardinal Sarah has overcome unimaginable suffering and strife. He’s now a prominent cardinal who works closely with Pope Francis and valiantly defends human dignity every single day. By the grace of God, he’s suffered and overcome. And his calling card of silence over noise and peace over violence is a constant gut check for me.
The history of racism in America is long and painful, and the present reality points to a still-deeply rooted struggle. Like everyone else, I’m learning more about the plight of my black brothers and sisters in these days. I’m listening and grieving. I’m praying and fasting. And I’m aware that true peace is only possible where there is freedom and justice for all, where victims of mindless brutality are cared for as deeply as victims of mindless rioting.
The time is ripe for believing in the power of redemptive suffering to win the day, for believing in the power of sacrificial love to break through all the noise. As divine providence would have it, our weekly retreat series relaunches tomorrow night with our seventh principle of suffering. Set your reminder now and join me in prayer and solidarity at 7pm CST:
In a world gripped by division, we need the beauty of God’s love more than ever to unite us in the rebuilding of our culture from the ground up. In the meantime, let’s keep listening. Let’s keep praying and fasting. Let’s have the courage to suffer with those who are suffering and to love them like never before. May God give us wisdom and courage in the days ahead and begin a mighty work of healing over our beloved land.
Grace and peace,
Jimmy Mitchell // Chief Curator, Love Good
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