Silence.

I am writing this on Sunday evening, Father’s Day.

Today is mostly a bitter day for me.  For 22 years, I have watched people around me celebrate Father’s Day while I do not. Year after year it is just as awkward, uncomfortable, and painful, and that is okay.  I do not think it has to ever not be okay.

But that’s not what I am writing about today.  What I want to discuss is far more important than that.

I think that there are plenty of times to keep your mouth shut.  And I think that there are plenty of times to sit back and understand that silence is the best route. It’s okay to be silent about my dad, but this is one of those times  when we need to speak up.

You see, I think that we have lost sight of something, or worse, turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to a continuous problem in our country.  Today, at the three services at my church, we mourned for the loss of lives.  We honored the victims and we prayed for the families that have to endure the pain because Dylann Roof entered a church and killed 9 people due to the color of their skin.

Because of the color of their skin.  Let that sink in.  Do not turn away.  Do not roll your eyes.  The color of their skin…

We need to face the racist elephant in the room.  Our country is one of the most hated countries in the entire world. There are people who want you and me dead.  Killed on live television, dead.  And, yet, we aren’t even safe from each other.

I see the news feed posts from both sides of this.  And I see ignorance from both sides.

But, what I see that haunts me the most is denial.  White people who deny that racism today is an issue.  White people who think that every black man or woman who speaks up is too concerned with the past or just looking to cause division.

WAKE UP.  The division is there.  You living in fantasy-land is not going to solve the problem.

You living in denial is not going to get us anywhere.

We must do something now.  We must stand side-by-side with our brothers and sisters of every race to see this injustice end.  How many times are you going to watch this happen before it clicks? How many times are you going to feel comfortable saying, “He should have just obeyed the cop”?

How many more times?

We do not get it.  And how can we?  How can we even begin to fathom the pain and anger that these men and women hold when we act as though it is not there.  The last time I checked, a disease does not go away just because you pretend it does not exist.

We need to actively seek this sickness out.  We need to actively speak out against racism.  We need to work for unity…for progress.

We need to speak when it’s time to speak, and listen when it’s time to listen.

Satan has us fighting a proxy war…and it’s black and white.

#BlackLivesMatter is not just a trendy hash-tag to jump onboard.  These are real people.  Black men whom I respect dearly are hurting and angry and I have NO IDEA how to even begin to relate.  But I can hurt with them.  We can hurt with them, pray with them, and begin a conversation together on how it ends.

The first step is to admit that there is a problem.

I am not willing to watch another 9 people lose their lives in order for us to wake up.

I am not willing to be a part of a community that worships a loving God and yet does and says nothing.

This is not just a church problem, but we, who seek to bring God’s kingdom to earth, must understand that racism has no place in holiness.

We are all descendants of the first parents.  We are all family.  And we must all work together.  Because if we continue to act as though this is not real life, we will destroy each other.

“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” (1 Peter 3:8)