“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (New International Version, 1984, Esther 4:14).
This is a time when we need to listen and absorb.
This is not a time for ‘buts.’
There is a growing conversation across our country on racial reconciliation and I want to be a part of it. I want you to be a part of it. In this conversation, I have heard some truthful comments from my white friends and then there is a ‘but.’
As chaplains we are God’s ministers. We must speak the truth and the gospel. That is the heart of OJPM’s ministry. However, there is a time to listen. Our dear friend Joe Williams used to say that preachers like to talk and chaplains like to listen. Now is the time to listen.
It is like ministering to a family member who has had a loved one die in a car accident and to say, “I am so sorry for your loss, but you know they were not wearing their seatbelt.” Maybe that was the cause and maybe it was not the cause, but it is not the right time.
One of the comments that we hear is that Black lives matter. I believe that is an important statement that needs to be embraced. Yes, I have concerns over some of the politics of the Black Lives Matter organization. However, that is not the focus of the conversations I am having.
It is important to differentiate between the statement Black lives matter and the organization Black Lives Matter. They are separate and sometime down the road we can have that conversation.
Some have said that all lives matter. That is true. Think of it like this. When you are observing Cancer Awareness Month (CAM) you do not stand up and say, “What about heart disease?” If you are at a CAM event, you understand that for that period of time there is going to be a special focus on cancer. You also understand that highlighting one does not mean you are diminishing the other.
There will be a time to clarify some of the reports of racial injustice. There will be a time to question some statements of solutions. That time is not now.
Now is the time to grieve together, to listen, to seek to understand and to discern our own walk as reconcilers who serve the Great Reconciler.
OJPM family, there are no buts about it!
Unleashing the captives,