Stand Together Against Racism
By Hung Su Lim
My heart was broken by the recent tragic violence that took innocent lives in Atlanta, Georgia. There is no way to justify any form of violence against people based on their color and ethnicity. It is not only anticultural and antiethnic but also antihuman. Our baptismal vows remind us that we are called to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. We must stand together against racism and stop racial hate crimes.
Whenever I learn such tragic news, I think of my child, who amazes me from time to time. Not only do I care for her, but also I learn from her. One thing that I learn from her is her sense of innocence and nonbiased perspectives. When I walk with my daughter at a park or in the neighborhood, she greets anyone who passes by. Her genuine greeting with a smile toward people makes them greet her back with a smile, although people cannot see her whole facial expressions because of her mask. Then, she calls someone that she encounters either a sister, a brother, an uncle, an aunt, or a friend. How she interacts with people reminds me of what Jesus said about children, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs” (Matthew 19:14). Her innocent view of people reminds me of what we are intended to be and why we were created. We are God’s family, no matter who we are and where we come from.
Can we learn from our children and protect their nonbiased racial perspectives? What do we teach the next generation? How could they inherit love, kindness, and compassion from their prior generation? We as human beings have a distorted perspective on human races with misogyny and hatred, and we have experienced the consequences of broken humanity. Rev. Luther King Jr. dreamed this dream, “. . . all of God’s children . . . will be able to join hands and sing . . .” His dream continues, and God invites us to join this dream.
For such a time as this, we turn to the Lord, who has already claimed the victory from sin and death, offering us healing and hope. Our Lord guides and protects us when we wonder and struggle because God is always with us, no matter what. Let us pray for and be mindful of all the victims of hate crimes and racism. Let us stand together against racism. Let us pray that our children may live in a world where all people join hands without hatred and discrimination and sing together a song of love and justice. Let us love one another as the Lord has loved us.
Lord, our hearts are shattered when we experience broken humanity. We have failed your love and struggled with evil, hatred, racism, and violence. We pray for all the victims of hate crimes and racism. Be with their families and friends in this time of hardship. As we turn to you and have faith in you who died for us and showed us how to love, let your perpetual love shine upon us and give us the strength to love one another and end racism. “Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us. Melt us, mold us, fill us, use us. Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us.” (Adapted from The United Methodist Hymnal, No. 393) In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.