Say Their Names
Title: Say Their Names
Racism: Foreign and Domestic: As of this writing 10,000 persons have been arrested protesting the deaths of George Floyd, and Michael Brown, Laquan Mcdonald, Antwon Rose,Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Sean Bell, Philando Castile, Terence Crutcher, Thomas Kelly, Oscar Grant, Breonna Taylor, ……. and Eyad al-Halaq, an unarmed autistic Palestinian young man shot and killed by Israeli police in Jerusalem five days after the George Floyd murder.
A graffiti mural of the late George Floyd is seen on the Israeli separation wall in Bethlehem, West Bank, on Monday, June 8, 2020.
A Scriptural Perspective: So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. Genesis 1:27, 31
A Reflection and Commitment: It is 1968. I am in my living room watching the news on TV. I am 16 years old. Now it is 2020. I am in my living room watching the news on TV. I am 68 years old. In more than 50 years we have made so little progress. We have so far to go! Let’s stop deceiving ourselves. The problem is not with “those people.” The problem is not “out there.” The problem is right here in our midst. The problem is us.
Why does God hate hatred? Why does He mourn the loss of human life so much? Each premature death is the erasure of an image of God from the earth. There is nothing on earth God loves more than one of his children, with whom he longs to have fellowship. On earth as it is in heaven? I tell you that the mourning on earth, which is indeed great—does not compare to the mourning there is in heaven.
As we move forward at Kairos West Michigan, which we certainly will, we will remember that we have a God who grieves with us. As we continue our efforts to foster just and lasting shalom for the people of Palestine and the people of Israel, for Jew, Arab, Muslim, Christian and atheist alike, we repent of our racism, our past silence, and our former inaction. We commit to going beyond non-racism to anti-racism. We stand with all groups peacefully advocating shalom in race relations. We seek to be part of the united racial justice movement sweeping over the whole globe and taking hold due to the George Floyd outrage.
Between now and next spring we at KWM are inviting you to join us in on-going conversations with Jews and Palestinians working against racist and ethnic oppression in their homelands. Next spring we are sponsoring a 10-day Peace and Justice immersive experience in Israel and Palestine. We invite you to join us and hold us accountable to our commitment to do better combating the racism of which we are a part.
Meanwhile, we lament our current circumstance and our contribution to it. We also express our faith and trust in Him that his kingdom come through us, and that his will be done through us. It is past time to make sure that 50 years from now our grandchildren are not subject to the systemic racism plaguing our world—and us.
For His is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever!
Bart Den Boer, Executive Director, Kairos West Michigan