Last week I was on vacation. We spent the first few days with no major contact to the outside world. We pretty much turned our phones off other than to shoot a few things for Facebook and never turned the television on or looked at a paper. We left Disney on Tuesday night and headed to Kelly’s dad’s house. Kelly’s dad loves to watch the news and so we went from no news to bad news pretty quickly.
As I often do when reflecting on an issue concerning race, I gave a call to Bishop Eric Freeman of The Meeting Place Church. Eric is at the heart of the AME church and understands the issues facing African Americans. When he answered my call I could tell in his voice that he was hurting.
He explained that he was most discouraged by the lack of empathy that seemed to be displayed by so many. The focus he explained was not on grieving the loss of life but anger and finger pointing. He expressed similar sentiments when he was interviewed by the local CBS station.
Next, I called the Chief of Police here in Cayce - Byron Snellgrove. I asked how we might be an encouragement to the men and women serving us. His answer was pretty simple - show appreciation.
Now that I have had some time to step back and consider more fully the situation at hand I keep thinking over and over that I can make a difference. God keeps saying Eddie, you matter, and you are not insignificant to the issues at hand. You have the tools, use them.
I believe God wants us to see that these issues are not so great as to be impossible to address. Satan wants us to fear entering this arena because we may be labeled or even hated for treading on sacred ground. However, all ground is God’s ground and if the people around us choose to hate us we will be in good company, Jesus said the world hated Him.
I have many ideas about what you and I can do to make a difference here in our community but for now what I’d ask is that you pray for our first responders at the Cayce Department of Public Safety and for our friends at The Meeting Place Church. Pray that we will see how we can make a difference in our community that will affect the world around us in a way that draws them to Jesus!