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How Can We Respond to All the Injustice and Suffering?

Recent news has been filled with brutality and evil. War in Ukraine. Shooting upon shooting upon shooting. And a report by the Southern Baptist Convention that details abuse upon abuse upon abuse. These days also bring back the memory of the brutal murder of George Floyd two years ago and the brutal massacre of Black families and the devastation of a Black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma over a century ago. The evil and harm is long and wide and deep and seems to never end.

How can we respond to all this injustice and all this suffering? 

Acknowledge Pain

We begin by acknowledging the pain. We make simple, truthful statements that name injustice: What happened to George Floyd was wrong. Systems that enable police violence harm communities. Gun violence is worse in the United States than any other developed nation and it harms innocent children every day. We return to the history books to understand how we ended up in these places, how these systems can be undone, how these wrongs can be repaired. 

Cry Out for Help

Then we cry out for help. We lament what has been lost. We rage against the injustice. We gather together to pray and mourn and listen and learn and hope. 

Take the Next Small Step

And then we take the next small step on a healing path. We petition our local elected officials to change our laws. We teach our children to see the diversity of our world as a gift and not a threat. We teach them how to show kindness. We give time and support to people who are suffering. We speak out against hatred. We vote for change. 

Return to Belovedness

And in all of this, we return, again and again and again, to the center of healing, which is our belovedness. This core truth that each and every person we encounter bears the image of God, the image of love. Evil tries to overpower that image in subtle and overt ways. But goodness emerges and healing happens when we believe our belovedness and when we see the belovedness inherent in others. 

Acknowledge pain. Cry out for help. Take the next small step toward healing. And believe your belovedness. This is the only way we can heal.

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