As I continue to think about this subject, I must acknowledge that the America we live in today is different from that of a half-century ago. There are policemen in certain communities in our country who are increasingly anxious when pulling over a violating automobile when the driver is a black man. That is simply reality. Sometimes in these communities, due to violence occurring between African American citizens and police officers, our black brothers and sisters, though they’ve had nothing to do with the incitation of violence, are fearful when family members leave their homes.
We could spend time deliberating about which fears are founded and which are based on unsubstantiated claims. But regardless of the the basis for it, fear is always uncomfortable. Christians should always be compassionate toward brothers and sisters who fear. Some of them are fearful for safety, their own or that of a loved one. Some are fearful for the well -being of their children as members of minority groups. Some are, indeed, so fearful that they have begun to think about leaving the United States. There are Christian women who are daily praying for safety as their husbands traverse the everyday travel and tasks that comprise their work days.
I want to go and put my arms around them when I read about their fears, because they are my sisters and they are afraid.
But I am sometimes fearful, too. There are some areas of my hometown to which I would not dare to venture at night. These are areas in which crime is rampant, murders are common and theft is a real threat. In this particular town, those areas are the predominantly black areas—the areas in which the population is, by and large, African American. I try to be evangelistic and honest, as well. Like my brown sister, though, I am fearful. I have no doubt that she would sympathize with my fear in the event I had to travel through that zone of trepidation, just as I do with hers, because we love one another with the love of the Lord. We should and do pray for one another.
Sometimes we struggle, though, with how racial tension should affect our congregations and the church in general. Next time, we will focus on the church and race relations. I’m praying that this series is useful, at least in a small way, in making sisters who read ever more determined to be a part of a movement to be united in Him, even as our culture seems to continue to be sharply divided.