This blog is almost exclusively about tech, the web and social media in the church. But today called for something different.
I took my son Joshua with me to Lowe’s yesterday. He’s nine so usually he gets to wander a bit as long as he is in view. Yesterday, I wouldn’t let go of him. I kept my arm around him the whole time. I didn’t realize it at first. He didn’t mind too much, but eventually he got a little frustrated.
I am a white man. My son is black. I don’t think I am capable of loving anyone with a deeper love than the love I have I have for my sons. This week, a man walked into a church, a sister denomination to my beloved United Methodist Church. He sat there and studied the Bible with the kind members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Then, he took out a gun and killed nine people, nine black people. He killed them because they were black. I nearly threw up.
I am terrified. The thought that someone would kill my little boy because his skin is darker than mine. Being a father, there is enough to worry about. Life is so fragile. I desperately want my children to have a full and abundant life. I hate being afraid. But someone murdered people because of the color of their skin.
I am preaching this Sunday and for the next three weeks. I am filling in for a friend and preaching a short series on how we can love Jesus in a culture of fear.
Fear is an insidious evil that keeps us from being our best selves. It is also a weapon. That is what that young man had in mind. He committed an act of terror. It worked. But it will only work for a moment.
The scriptures teach us in 1 John, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.”
I haven’t reached perfection in love, but I am working on it. I am still afraid. I will keep my boys closer than usual. I will be more diligent. But more than that, I will pray and trust that ultimately, through the power of God, fear and evil will lose, and love will be victorious.