The "Lives Matter" debate leaves me frustrated each time the issue arises. It's a two fold frustration. In reality it's a frustration over our ignorance as a whole. It is ignorance when we claim racism is no longer an issue and it's ignorance when we claim police officers are targeting a specific group of people based on the color of one's skin. My earnest hope is that most of us understand there's work to be done on both sides of the issue, but it is the ignorant few who seem to end up on the news or causing mass chaos.
There are two sides to this coin.
First, the police officers. Recognize their position. While people are running away from the gun shots, they run towards it. While most people call 911, expecting police officers to put their lives on the line, they call home to whisper goodnights. While police officers all across the nation stand side-by-side with their partners in uniform - black skinned, white skinned, red, or otherwise - they are screamed at for being racist. I do not get it.
The other side of the coin: what I do get is that there are a few police officers who are arrogant, racist, and too authoritative in their position where lives are on the line. We cannot ignore that fact. It's the unfortunate truth. I know racism still exists because in my own family I was advised to never marry interracially. I know racism still exists because I had to advise a dear friend as her family rejected her spouse because he was black. I know racism still exists because of how the black community is treated in my own small, predominately white community. The racial jokes and sneers and exclusion is unacceptable; unfortunately I dealt with the issue many times in my classroom.
Racism still exists.
Recognizing that truth does not make the situation any better off than it was before. We can spout, yell, blog, and tweet over the issue, but it will not change. It will not change because we cannot change the state of the heart.
The heart is the issue on both sides of the coin. We live in a world that is too hyped up on our emotions, following the course of this world with it's ups and downs rather than using the brain God gave us to think and rationalize. We are ignorant. We are self-righteous. We suppress the truth. We are foolish, heartless, ruthless, and malicious.
As a whole, humans do not recognize the state of our hearts.
Instead we advise each other to follow them.
And so the two sides of the coin are in the same state. The state we've been in since the beginning of time: sinful. It doesn't matter the color of the skin, our hearts are the same. Our hearts are sick (Jeremiah 17:9), in desperate need of a Savior.
Lives do matter. Lives matter because we are eternal. Look at the soul, spread the gospel.
Only God can change the heart.