As someone who has pastored in a number of multi cultural churches it has been a privilege and blessing to me to pastor many black families, men, women, and children. Not just pastor them but know them as friends.
I never saw it as my job to tell them that Black lives matter. Of course they do, but to me that should have been the baseline, the starting point. I always saw my job was to let them know that black lives are loved, cherished and valued. My job was to inspire them that their lives could make a difference, to help them see themselves through the eyes of Christ, himself a dark skinned Middle Eastern man.
While I will never be able to fully understand their struggles I was privileged to sit with them and listen.
Therefore I do understand the rage, the anger, the overwhelming sense of injustice. But I also see that we are at a crossroad.
That rage can be turned for good or bad. Today saw the Retirement of the Bishop of York. John Sentamu was incarcerated and brutally beaten under the hideous dictatorship of Idi Amin in Uganda. He arrived in the UK in 1974 as an immigrant.
The Bishop was able to turn his experiences into a positive vision for the future. I don’t have enough room to talk about all his great achievements but they are many fighting injustice, poverty and abuse.
If we are to make a real tangible difference in the future we need people to emerge from this time with a vision to drive change forward, a raging fire soon burns out and just leaves destruction. However a spark of vision can change things for the good, for good.
I pray right decisions are made.