And the scales fell from my eyes

I haven’t been sleeping well the past week. I’ve been consumed with anxiety, fear and guilt.

I’ll admit, during the day it’s easier to distract myself. But at night, all bets are off.

I lie in bed for hours and wonder how I could just be awakening to the racial injustice in my country. I’ve been a Christian since I was 8 years old, but it’s only now — at 25 — that my heart genuinely aches for the minority communities in America.

Sure, I’ve always known racism was wrong and I’ve grieved the many related tragedies we’ve seen through the years. But I’ve never ached for the minority community as I do now. The scales have fallen from my eyes (Acts 9:18) and now I see.

As members of the body of Christ, we cannot be silent. We cannot stand by while our brothers and sisters — made in the image of God — are oppressed and marginalized.

We must share the love and hope of Christ by standing beside them, supporting them and fighting for them.

Just as violence and looting are not the answer, neither is inaction. Now, more than ever, the Church needs to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. We must take action against the injustices and sins in our society and be the light in a time of darkness and hurt.

I implore you to take some time to pray and think about one thing in particular: if Jesus were walking among us today, what would He be doing? Where would we find Him serving?

Here are some verses and passages from Scripture to ponder about oppression and justice:

“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Prov. 31:8–9).

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)

“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause” (Isa. 1:17).

“For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever” (Jer. 7:5–7).

“Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the sojourners; He upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked He brings to ruin. The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!” (Ps. 146)

”May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor!” (Ps. 72:4)

 “The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed” (Ps. 103:6).

“He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing” (Deut. 10:18).

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble” (Ps. 9:9).

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me. He has sent Me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to liberate the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18­­–19).


 

Jessica Ingram

Jessica Ingram is a regular contributor to The Rope. She also is the event coordinator for The Alabama Baptist/TAB Media. She graduated from Mississippi State University in 2017 and is a member of The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham.

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