The Pandemic affects us all, as we are charged to keep our distance, and to wear masks – and then, be drawn into surreal grief that envelops our country as over 170,000 people die as a result of being personally infected by the Covid-19 virus. Many were older folks, but not all. Many of them, and others were taken down because they were already vulnerable with diseases and health conditions they already had. I am myself one of the latter, very vulnerable group.
So, we are wary, unsettled, but by God’s grace, not afraid. Always careful.
Yet, with all that, the division over race, is the more complicated. We have lived separately, in our own neighborhoods, our own regions, our own isolated worlds, not really choosing, but drifting into isolated conclaves. But suddenly now, with one killing too many, of a black man on a street corner in Minneapolis by a policeman who held him down on the pavement by a knee on his neck, as the man begged, “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe,” making us all sick at heart that that kind of violence could be so casually used. Clearly, it should never have happened.
Thousands of citizens poured into the streets of cities across the country, and the world. Not all young. Not all black. Just people, enraged at the injustice of it all. Joined, as the description became deeper, and the mulling and shouting more confused, and the restraints more and more withdrawn, by the hooded, black-clothed dress of destruction, with their torches, and firebombs, their bricks and their axes, positioning their weapons strategically, and leading the leaderless through smashed store windows, to loot and steal valuable items from defenseless shops – many owned by refugees from Somalia trying to make their way in America. Over $82,000,000 worth of loss the newspapers are now reporting.
Cries went up, to “defund the police.” Meetings are held to dismantle some of the key structures holding our fragile society together. Leaders of the Chaos say looting is reparations. Destruction is justified. Destroying livelihoods is payback.
We are close to the “last days” whenever they may come. These are the days for people who care, to dare, to do something. There is more than enough time. The need is for will. For good hearts to find a way to do good, to do something good, to bring people together.
We have a friend who came as a black kid from Cleveland to go through Edina’s ABC (A Better Chance) program. He came back after college to direct first Edina’s ABC program and then Eden Prairie’s. He’s been a friend for many years. He’s helping Zion Baptist Church downtown, with its programs. He invited Molly and me to come down to Zion for a “Rap on Culture.” Our friend Gardner was there, waiting for us. We talked, and prayed. Pastor Bryan Herron came later after work of healing in the city.
My Molly said, “Why not gather some ‘Christian visitors,” - ten from Colonial and ten from Zion to meet, to go to each others’ churches for worship and to just “visit?” The Christians who talk to each other, who pray with each other, who worship God together – to hold up our city to Him?”
We’re going to do it. A half-dozen from Colonial and from our Hilltop Bible Study have said, “I want to come.” Soon after Colonial Church opens up in September for face-to-face worship, we’ll pick a Sunday, gather and go. And SEE WHAT HAPPENS.
Something friends will do together. In faith. With hope. And love. Somehow it will happen.
Pray that it will. In the Lord’s own way.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES