Last night I watched the hashtag #Ferguson scroll through my Twitter feed until the wee hours. It’s still scrolling this morning, making it hard for me to tear myself away from social media for the time needed to write this.
I saw the live feed I was watching get turned off. I read stories of reporters being arrested and detained. I watched and saw pictures of tear gas released on protestors, of police advancing on crowds like an army.
The situation in Ferguson and the death of Michael Brown are horrible, but they are highlighting violence against the African American community that has been occurring in our country for hundreds of years. People of color being beaten, mocked, shot, murdered.
Through nearly all of my time as a Christian, I have heard that our nation needs to be healed, and inspirational pictures with 2 Chronicles 7:14 make their way across my Facebook feed. It tends to be loudest whenever elections are near, because everyone knows that if we could just replace THEIR guy in charge with OUR guy in charge, everything will be so much better. More godly, more just, more moral.
The other time the Chronicles passage tends to rear up is in times of great national strife, as we are seeing now. Pleas are being made for Christians to “pray and seek God’s face.” We are to urge people to “turn from their wicked ways.” And then we give lists of ways to pray and lists of wicked ways from which everyone should be turning. We’ll rattle off our pet sins and find ways to relate them to what is happening in Ferguson.
The part of the verse that I never see addressed is the very first admonishment.
Humility is significantly less sexy than calling for people to turn from sin. Humility doesn’t have a soapbox or a high horse. Humility doesn’t get to lecture.
Humility listens. And listens some more. And then thinks about what is being said without immediately responding.
Humility is not defensive and combative.
Humility gives up power and privilege.
Humility asks rather than tells.
Humility raises hands rather than guns.
What is beautiful is that when we put on humility, we begin go see change. We stop seeing people as enemies because we see our common humanity. We hear more and we fear less.
When we humble ourselves, we begin to heal our relationships, and in turn, our nation begins to heal.
Photo credit: @zellieimani