My heart has been burdened for the black people of our nation. This has been a very difficult year with the coronavirus pandemic and now the devastating murders of people like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. But this is not a new issue that has popped up out of nowhere like the coronavirus. This is a systemic issue that has plagued our nation for hundreds of years.
Watching the video of George Floyd being murdered caused a great pain in my soul. And knowing that this is not an isolated incident, but something that has been happening over and over and over again, has me torn up on the inside. Also, now learning that the vast majority of these horrific acts have been swept under the rug, unpublicized, with justice not being served, is completely unacceptable.
Knowing that I’m white and that I’ll never fully understand doesn’t change the fact that I have a responsibility. I have a responsibility to listen and learn, to educate myself, to raise my children well and to not just talk about it but to be a part of the change.
As a follower of Jesus, my view of the world and people is that all people have been created in the image of God and have the exact same value and inherent worth. God created differences in skin color and He didn’t make a mistake when He created some people black and some people white. We are all the same in His eyes, no matter what we look like.
But the unfortunate fact is that this is not a reality in the way we treat people in our country. Black people have not been treated the same as white people — not now and not in the past. Oppression, police brutality, racial profiling and lack of justice are the reality for black people in our country. They have not been afforded the same privileges and freedoms that white people have. We all have an opportunity and responsibility to change that in the future.
In some of His last moments with His disciples, Jesus gave them this commandment: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). This was a commandment, not a suggestion. And this commandment is commanded to us.
So how did Jesus love? He was selfless. He was non-discriminatory. He listened. He asked questions. He led with grace. He welcomed and devoted Himself to all people groups no matter their age, religion, nationality, social status or gender. He loved sacrificially. He was an advocate, who spoke up for those whose voice was undermined and devalued. He confronted systems that were broken. He never gave up. He was never in a rush.
I am committed to love people like that. This is how God calls all of us to love people. All people. Black people included. I will listen and learn and love in the best possible way I can. I will be an advocate and an ally. All lives matter. Black lives matter.
— Nick Ahmed, Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop
Nick Ahmed is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Nick’s Increase profile here.
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