Love your neighbor

There is a lot that could be said right now. There is also a lot that should not be said right now (some of which has already been said). My heart aches for both sides of this issue. As a mom, I can’t imagine how painful it is to lose your child (no matter the circumstances) and then to feel as if there was no justice in his death. As someone who has family and friends who serve (or who have served) as LEOs, I can’t imagine how scary situations like this are and how compounded the stress and weight of the decisions that have to be made in an instant must be. For their family members, how scared they must be to know that there are those who assume the worst of civil servants and look to harm them.

I am not going to express an opinion favoring one side or the other. Honestly, I can’t because I was not privy to the same knowledge as the jury so all I have to base my opinion on is speculation and emotion, neither of which are of any real benefit.

The reality is that I thought very hard about what I could possibly add to this very heated discussion. I recognize that I am a white girl who has never dealt with the harsh realities of being racially profiled in a negative light by a police officer. I have been negatively profiled by people I’ve worked with and customers I’ve dealt with, but I won’t assume to know something that I clearly do not understand. While I have friends of many different races, some of whom are as close as family, and I married someone of a different race, I also recognize that being “color blind” is good in theory but not always practical.

There are so many beautiful things about the differences in race. It breaks my heart that we can’t see past the negatives of each other. Name calling, like thug and racist, do nothing to help the situation and if anything only perpetuate either side’s negative opinion.

Until we can reach a point of empathy for both sides, we are missing the point. This should not be a time to belittle one another or to point fingers. I can’t assume to know the heart and intent of either man involved, or of the jury members, or of any of the people who responded peacefully or not. But I can seek to love like Jesus. He told us to love our neighbors, to love our enemies, to pray for those who persecute us…

If I victimize one and criminalize the other, I am not fulfilling the commandments given by God. Only in love can we see any forgiveness and ultimately reach resolution. Yes, I am over simplifying a painful situation for all who have become involved, but all I can do is to continue to show love toward each person I meet, no matter how similar or different they are from me. Yes, there is still racial prejudices in many parts of our country (toward all races) and that means there is still a lot of work to be done to reach a point of true equality. But again, all I can do is to continue to show love toward each person I interact with.

I hope you all will strive to do the same.

It pains me that I feel the need to add this, but please be aware that while I welcome opposing views, I maintain the right to chose whether or not to publish your comment. If it is in anyway hateful, know that it will not be published. If it is racist (from either side), it will not be published. I am not looking to start more arguments, rather the opposite. I pray that this post will serve to encourage others to remain prayerful, peaceful, and go out of their way to show love in a time of pain and confusion and distrust.

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