'Welcome to the World Through My Eyes'
By Derek Weber
"Welcome to the World Through My Eyes."
Those words, God who sees, are found on the website that Tyre Nichols created to share his photography with the world. I can’t help but wonder if he meant welcome to the world that he saw through his eyes or if he wanted to welcome the world that he saw. He takes the ordinary and somehow projects the mystical: a vine on some rocks, pop art murals on a building in Memphis, a glowing bridge and a happy couple of young people. All these images are the world he welcomed through his eyes—eyes willing to see beauty in the everyday.
We won’t see any more of this world, because Tyre was murdered by the force of five renegade cops and by two emergency personnel who stood by as he was beaten. He was killed by a system of police brutality and violence perpetrated against people of black and brown skin for routine traffic violations; his human response was to flee from attack. We pray for his family and the city of Memphis, but also for all of us who have lost the opportunity to welcome the world through his eyes. Christ, have mercy. Amen.
Derek Weber, Daily Prayers for Anti-racism
Before he was a rallying cry, Tyre Nichols was a child of God. Before he was a statistic of police brutality and the rising tide of violence from authority figures, he was a man. A father and a son, a friend and neighbor, Tyre was just like us. Perhaps that is why we are shaken by this all-too-common happening. He was just like us. Words fail us when we try to make sense of a world where such pain can be inflicted.
Yet, speak we must. Tyre was an artist who longed to share a vision of the world. What vision do we share? We who are people of faith, do we have courageous conversations that help us understand one another? Do we challenge the status quo, things as they are? Do we call out that which is broken, not for vengeance but for transformation – for repentance and healing? Do we describe, as loudly as we can, a world where justice flows down like waters?
We cannot stay silent. We may not know who first said it, but it is hard to deny the truth of the quote, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” When women and men begin to speak of a world not ruled by violence and hate, when differences are celebrated rather than feared, and when grace is extended and justice is truly for all, then change can begin. So join us as we speak in this moment and learn to see this new world through all of our eyes.
A statement from Discipleship Ministries regarding the death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis
The staff of Discipleship Ministries wish to express our condolences to the family of Tyre Nichols.
We condemn violence in the many forms that it presents itself in our communities and through our law enforcement and justice systems.
We pray for both the victims and the perpetrators of such violence.
We call on disciples – wherever they live and work – to be the light of Christ working to repair and improve unjust systems globally.
We offer the following recommended resources as we grow as disciples and form disciples who live out our faith in a hurting world:
- Resources for Responding to Systemic Racism
- Discipleship Ministries' Statement on Nationwide Gun Violence
- The Upper Room Resources for Grief & Healing
- Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-racism
Rev. Jeffrey M. Campbell
General Secretary / CEO
Rev. Dr. Derek Weber, Director of Preaching Ministries, served churches in Indiana and Arkansas and the British Methodist Church. His PhD is from University of Edinburgh in preaching and media. He has taught preaching in seminary and conference settings for more than 20 years.