June 11

JUNE 11
by Jeff Wagner

Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.”    Habakkuk 1:3

Just as Habakkuk decries the sinfulness of God’s chosen people in Judah, the current events in our country has brought each of us face to face with injustice, destruction, violence. In my particular situation, last week was unlike any other that I have experienced in almost 40 years of corporate life.

Three Executive Vice Presidents held meetings for all employees in their business units to have conversations on racial injustice and discrimination. Each call lasted about one and a half hours and introduced us to four to five black leaders at T-Mobile who shared their experiences in life and in the workplace. It was the most powerful and raw dialogue I have witnessed, highlighting the challenges, fears, emotions, and weight that black people carry with them every day.

These thirteen managers, directors and VP’s shared that they are not ok, they are hurt, angry, confused, exhausted. These feelings are attached not only to what is happening in Minneapolis, Georgia, and other places today, but to deeply personal experiences they have all endured.  While each individual had their own stories, almost every one of them spoke about the conversations that they must have with their children, conversations that I do not have with Dylan. Many shared incidents that created fear and trauma for them, their children, or other family members.  They spoke about putting on masks and armor, leveraging survival skills in the work environment.  These men and women, children of God, are torn between hope that this opportunity will lead to lasting change, and history that says otherwise. The dialogue continued all week as I had discussions with the minority members on my team, and heard for the first time how they too had encountered prejudice in their lives.

These are difficult, scary times, and we all have more questions than answers. Perhaps we are right there with Habakkuk who openly asks God why he allows injustice and destruction to reign. As we watch the violence in our cities, perhaps we, like Habakkuk, do not like God’s response that he will send the dreaded Babylonians to hold Judah accountable. As Christians, we need to rely on the truth that God is always in control, in all situations and in all circumstances. And as Christians, we rely on our foundation of new life and unity in our Savior Jesus Christ.

We know that Jesus spoke out against injustice, stood up for the marginalized, and saw every person in the image of his Father. We are called to no less. I feel convicted to have my voice heard to support members of our black and minority communities. I came to deeply understand this week that silence has consequences and is no longer an option.

“In the end, we will not remember the voices of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”          Martin Luther King Jr.

Tony Evans in the You Version Bible plan The Power of Unity shared “Through Christ, racially divided groups get reconciled into one body, the church. The church is the place where all distinctions should no longer cause any divisions because of our unity in Christ.”  As I watched the memorial service of George Floyd and other news coverage this week, I saw Christians of all colors express their faith and place their hope in a just God. I saw those thirteen black leaders at my company end their comments by leaning into hope as they called us to action.

“For he himself is our peace, who has made two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.”  Ephesians 2:14-16

Let each of us hear God’s calling to us at this time, and let us be assured of the love, mercy, and grace that God bestows on all of us.

“yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”  Habakkuk 3:18

Sovereign Lord, comfort those in our communities across the nation that are angry, confused, and exhausted. Bring healing to those families who have suffered unspeakable loss. Give us courage and your Holy Spirit to love all people, to have real conversations about racial equality, and to speak out against injustice. Let our hope firmly rest in you for all times. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

 

 

 

 


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