The title of this blog post is was the slogan for the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March I attended in Washington DC. I felt that I had somewhat wasted my time in going. I felt that there was no action plan, just a whole bunch of angry Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans. I didn’t leave equipped to go out and change my community. I didn’t leave with a sense of knowing who I should talk to in power and how. I also didn’t understand the “Or else” of the slogan. Or else we move back to our native land? Or else we stop paying taxes? Or else we burn down Washington DC? Or else what?! That among other things wasn’t clearly communicated to me and I left slightly disappointed.
Fast forward to tonight, tonight I went to a Justice Forum put on by a local church that included some pretty important people within the Waco community. The focus was to get a conversation going about whats going on in our world and how we can stop things before they happen here in Waco.
Before I begin, I want to say that I know personally Waco community leaders and Waco police officers that are making positive changes in our community.
BUT I am still somewhat unsatisfied about what transpired tonight.
I had one simple question: How can law enforcement bridge the gap between the community (mostly black males) and themselves? This is important to me because this is the main two groups effected by the climate in America today and neither group was in attendance in large masses. (The audience was by in large educated, white Wacoans).
My question did not get answered. I even asked twice. So yes, I am unsatisfied. But as I am reflecting, I realized that no policy can make changes happen. I say this because policy has to be carried out on the individual level to matter. A law only matters to the extent people follow it. I realized that only God fearing, community loving police officers can change the climate. Relationships matter. Police officers on the ground having normal conversations about normal stuff in and out of uniform matter. Our communities being open and willing to have dialogue matter.
Secondly, both events remind me how real the gospel is. It is real in giving people hope when it seems that there is none offered by those in power. It is real in giving healing to those hurt by American laws. standards, stereotypes, and prejudices. It is real in showing people how to love despite differences. It is real in showing people how to extend grace and mercy to those who do not live like we do.
Hosea 12:6 states: But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always. Hosea was saying this to the Israelites to show them the error of their ways. I love this verse 1) because it speaks about justice but 2) because it says wait for your God always. I’m seeing right now that this is what I must do. I must wait for God always. These situations will get no better by any amount of conversation. We must wait on God always. He knows our suffering and cares about his people. So no mater how unsatisfied I am. I know that i must maintain love and justice and wait on God.
God is good y’all!