17 lives taken in the name of hate. 17 families mourning the loss of a loved one at the hands of injustice. 17 dead.
We've all seen the headlines about the terrible injustice that happened at a school in Florida. We all also know that this is nothing new. It's happened before. After any tragedy, there are a series of stages that take place. The very first stage is, naturally, mourning. We naturally begin to mourn and grieve over the lives that were taken whether we knew them or not. The mourning stage is very important because it allows our hearts to be connected to the situation and to the families affected. If you're anything like me, mourning usually leads to a want and desire to do something to make it right or make it better. To seek Justice.
I want to go back to something I said earlier in this post, "this is nothing new." A mass shooting and a mass killing of lives due to gun violence or some other act of hatred has happened before. Remember Vegas. Remember Orlando. Remember Sandy Hook. Remember Chicago. Remember Charleston. We mourned and some of us turned to prayer. But what did America as a country do? What did we say the problem was? We looked to politics. We looked to the Government. We diagnosed the problem as gun violence. We thought if we make some changes to the 2nd amendment and create tougher gun control laws then all of our problems in this regard would be fixed. We looked to the law and we looked to the wrong thing. The truth is, we've been doing this since the beginning.
I feel inclined to write what I'm about to write next because, as the Bible says, "nothing is new under the sun." It's necessary to learn from our past and take the steps to do better and it's high time for America to begin the process. I am going to make two connections, one practical and one biblical. Then, I'm going to tell you what we've gotten wrong, followed by what we can do to get it right.
Let's begin with practical. Remember what happened after slavery? The 13th Amendment and mass incarceration, both in which are still having their affects today. An entire people group were in bondage under the law and became free due to change of the law. Once free, America's response was to create more and tougher laws. That doesn't sound like freedom to me. That doesn't sound like an answer to the deeply rooted problems of the land and of the people. This group of people had just came from a life of bondage, pain, torture, violence, and suffering. Wouldn't you think the first thing to focus on is their healing? Instead, out of fear and hate, they were put into impoverished neighborhoods and told to "suck it up" and figure it out. These neighborhoods would later be known as "ghettos" and "the projects." They were left to figure out what it meant to be free, because, although the law said they were free, something in them was still in bondage and something in them was still broken. Something is still broken today. So, the question is, how do broken people heal broken people? The answer is, they don't. Introducing drugs, introducing alcohol, introducing murder in the black community. America's answer? The war on drugs, crack down on criminals, and longer prison sentences. This only made it worse. America got it wrong. America looked to the law to solve the problems of the land. The problem was never really solved because the problem was never properly diagnosed. The problem in the black community is not violence, murder, drugs, and poverty. The answer in the black community is not tougher policing and longer prison sentences. The problem in the black community is brokenness, mental illness, pain, trauma, ignorance, and silence. The answer? Healing, education, community, healthy conversations, love, GOD. The law was never the answer for the black community and it never will be.
Let's take a look at this same phenomenon, but biblically. The first mention of the law is in the Book of Exodus when God gave the law to Moses for the people of Israel. The people of Israel is the group that God chose to introduce himself back into the world through after the fall of man in the book of Genesis. Prior to the law, evil and hate were out of control and spreading like wild fire. There was no clear direction of where this world was headed. The people of Israel needed something to help guide them and put them on track to a clear path in life. But the law was never meant to be the destination. If the law was the destination, then Jesus wouldn't have had to die. If the law was the destination, then it wouldn't need to be fulfilled. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them" Matthew 5:17. The law was good to help the people of Israel get on the right track in life outwardly, but Jesus was needed to deal with the real problems. The law could never drive out the hate that man had in their hearts. The law could never cleanse someone's soul from all the evil polluting it. The law could never heal. Jesus had to do that.
All this to say, the law is not our destination. We should not be looking to the law to solve the problems of our people and our land. The law is not our answer. Getting tougher immigration laws does not drive out hate. Getting tougher gun control laws does not drive out hate. More control does not bring justice. God is not a God of control so why are we trying to be people of control? God doesn't bring justice through control. God is a God of love. God is a God of healing. God is a God of mercy. God is a God of forgiveness. God is a God of grace. God is a God of Unity.
So what can we do? First we can start by correctly diagnosing the problem. The problem is hate and evilness, in which both do not discriminate. The answer is Unity with ALL of mankind. Unity involves working together to deal with the hate and evilness that is in our own hearts. You can't separate Justice & The Gospel. They work hand in hand. So, as we mourn over the loss of the 17 innocent souls, as we seek justice, let's not look to the law this time. Let's correctly diagnose the problem, let's look to God, let's look to each other, let's be the change we want to see.
- Miesha Alexander
Youtube Channel: Life With Miesha / https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn5wPP3TKGD5KROxprLyxFw