hope

Investment

I was listening to IHOPKC yesterday and they sang “You’ve invested in me the authority, to determine the nation’s destiny.”

In Luke 10, Jesus sends out 72 messengers in twos to every location that he is about to visit.

“17 Then the seventy[e] returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”

18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

We should pray, and ask God for a return on his investment. Seeking direction on how he wants to use us to get his harvest and ignite change (in general, not just concerning racial injustices). The Harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.  He’s invested his authority in us, and trusts that he will reap that harvest before he returns.  GO!

Too Much

I will start off by saying what I’ve seen one of my fellow writers say, just to be clear: I do NOT hate the police, and I understand that not ALL police officers have not used excessive force. I have pretty much kept silent on the Michael Brown situation since August in order to make sure that I respond intelligently, and not emotionally.  However, it is almost impossible for me not to respond emotionally. With that being said, I’ll tell you how I feel and then as I work through that I’ll let you in on what I’ve personally learned.

I am not surprised that no one is being held responsible for the shooting of an unarmed person, especially an unarmed black teenager.  America has clearly shown their view and value of black men (google: “black men killed by police”).  Contrary to what others have expressed, I do NOT believe that this has any reflection on “black on black crime,” or how the black race values themselves.  I say that specifically based on the statistics that 84% of homicides that have killed a white person have been at the hands of another white person, and 93% of homicides that have killed a black person have been at the hands of another black person.  Homicides are usually intra-racial because most people live around people of the same race.  So, I feel like this is an excuse to try to get us to excuse the fact that MULTIPLE unarmed black men have been killed by police.  In response to the outrages that have come against the protests, I want to say that while violence is absolutely unnecessary people have to realize that maybe these people are TIRED of seeing injustice when it comes to situations like this.  I wonder how it would be if the tables were turned?  I am literally OUTRAGED that people could be so ignorant to see this event reoccurring OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER again, WITHOUT doing something about it. So, this sums up my feelings about Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Sean Bell, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Ezell Ford, Dante Parker, Trayvon Martin…should I go on? …ok, Kimani Gray, Kendrec Mcdade, Timothy Standsbury, and in my own hometown Milton Hall.  My point is this: there are many more of these names, and no one is being held responsible.  In studying this issue, white men are much more likely to be apprehended and given a chance at trial whereas black men are executed on sight.

What I’ve learned:

When the prosecutor in Ferguson said that the officer would not be ignited, I was angry, hurt, and angry some more (I still am).  Moved to tears I couldn’t believe that this had happened…again.  The people that are close to me texted me and told me to be the change, even asked me if I wanted to take a road trip to Missouri.  I had lost hope.  I heard God say: you need to pray for the officer.  I didn’t want to, but I did.  The next day I was in my car and I heard:  you and I know that you are an advocate for the underdog, pray.  I still didn’t want to but I did it.  Advocate: a person who pleads for or in behalf of another;intercessor.  Later, I was scrolling down my fb homepage and someone was talking about prayer helping the situation.  Doubt clouded my mind, and God said: “when did you stop believing that I can do the impossible?” So…while still being angry I’ll pray.  I’ll pray that there is more unity in America, I’ll pray that we would not see the police as enemies, but that pictures like these will be seen more:

Tears again. Tears

I’ll pray for my heart to be more compassionate, I’ll pray for the eyes of the ignorant to be opened on both sides of these circumstances, I’ll pray that division and barriers be broken so that we would be able to live peacefully.  Most of all, I’ll pray “help me to believe that you can do it , because my faith isn’t there right now.” Will you pray with me?

As far as literal action…I don’t know where to start.  I DO believe that I’m equipped to change the system, and I’ll do it by being a positive influence  to one person at a time…until my voice can reach more.

Yesterday

I couldn’t come up with a witty title today, and since I wrote this yesterday, it’s called “yesterday” lol.

Today I felt passion again! I was in class and my professor said “it is said to be easier to get into Harvard than it is to get into the corrections academy in the state of California.” I don’t want to move to California and I definitely do not have the desire to be a corrections officer, but it was the reasoning as to why it was so hard to get into the academy that started my long thinking tangent today. The reason why it’s so hard to get into their academy is because California pays their guards pretty well, but the conditions in which they work are a few of the toughest prisons in the country. I DO want to work in prisons with prison ministry, counseling prisoners, and even parole.

I was on my way to church after class today, and I started thinking “can you really handle working in a prison?” This was not a question of my own, I know that I’m capable of it, but this is a question that I have been asked over and over again when I tell people what it is that I want to do with my life. Doubt began to creep in. As I made it to church a man walked up to my car, I rolled down my window and he asked me if I was here for bible study? I said yes, and he told me that he had been waiting for about an hour outside (I live in Michigan, it’s snowing pretty heavy here). I discerned that he wasn’t harmful and he had been invited by someone so I welcomed him to sit in my warm car instead of standing in the snow until someone came to unlock the doors. He accepted my invitation. We chatted a bit and went into the building. We shared testimonies today, and it turns out he was recently released from prison!

While others may have freaked out because they had just had an ex con in their vehicle, I was ecstatic thanking God that he had found his way to a body of believers that would love him as Christ does! To hear that he was walking down the street and heard music coming from the church that drew him in, and to hear that a couple of days later (today) he was standing outside with people driving by locking their doors as they saw him moved my heart. I truly thank God that I didn’t let fear or what people might’ve thought stop me from showing this person love.

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always had a heart of compassion for people that society has written off. Recently, I was beginning to wonder if prison ministry was still a burning passion of mine or whether I was just going with the motions and committing to it because it was something I had spoken in the past. The justice system has given me so many disappointments in the past few years that the fire that I have towards believing that there was a way out for these individuals had died down a bit.

When this man told his testimony it’s almost as if something was awakened inside me again! I began to feel that passion to advocate and be support to those who have lost hope, and are thinking that prison is their last stop in life.

If God has given you a heart for something don’t give up! Don’t let anything stop you, don’t allow people’s opinions hinder you from blessing others. Don’t be afraid to speak up and most of all:

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (‭II Timothy‬ ‭1‬:‭6-7‬ NKJV)