The last few days have been too much.
I can see the exhaustion on everyone’s face and in their words. People are so tired of the chaos ensuing in our world, and the fear and grief that latches onto us.
It’s happening all over again, with our reactions to violence and our tendency to draw sides. The words exchanged sometimes feel more divisive than unifying. No one seems to be able to understand each other. It’s like we’re all speaking a different language.
And, I have to admit, I haven’t said much at all. I didn’t know what to say. There is so much wrong in the world and I want to address it all. There is discrimination against others and some are treated wrongly. It also affects more groups of people than we realize.
I hope as we engage this issue, it draws the stark distinction in our hearts that, yes, all lives do matter. I know some people take offense to that statement and say it’s not the right time or place, but I cannot deny Christ’s words and actions prove it over and over: all lives matter.
It’s not politically correct to say. But I do believe the Bible is clear.
Christ would take a bullet to save the life of someone who is black.
He would take a bullet to save the life of someone who is a police officer.
He would take a bullet to save the life of someone who is innocent.
He would take a bullet to save the life of someone who is guilty.
In Christ, when it comes to those who are extended grace, there are no earthly classifications or qualifications – no race, no occupation, no status, no physical ability, no age – not one thing. Only those who are in Christ and those who are not.
No matter who we are, He would stand in our place – and He has, so that death has no control.
I think we sometimes lose sight of this. It doesn’t feel like justice to us, in this broken world. We want good guys to win and bad guys to lose. When we have the remarkable gift and privilege to say Christ literally died for all, not one or some, I think the weight of that truth doesn’t strike us as hard until we begin to place that into the reality of each individual life.
A lot of people try to say that if Christ was walking on the earth today, He’d be on one side or another of this issue.
But let me pause here for a moment to say: He is on the side of Truth. Even though Christ is for us, He is not on the side of our sinfulness. Sometimes I really struggle to see how that fits together.
I believe if Christ was on this earth right now, His physical presence would be no different than His presence in my heart – in the way He breaks through the noise to silence my thoughts and point me back to Truth. And in God’s Word, He does not say one life or any group of lives is more important than others. I don’t think He’d pick a side. He would be right in the middle of the chaos and screams, the threat of violence and the fight to contain it (no matter the side from which it comes), commanding us to stop and see with new eyes.
He is only ever on the side of proclaiming God’s Truth. From here, it’s Truth versus evil. God versus everything that is the absence of Him. There is no argument of black lives matter versus blue lives matter. All lives matter.
God doesn’t work within the lines we’ve drawn in the sand. He erases them and instead outlines the story of grace.
He works above human understanding.
The sinfulness in this world and our hearts can blind us from seeing with eyes like Christ. Like I said, God is on our side but He is not on the side of our sinfulness. It’s so hard for us to wrap our minds around or understand how it works. That’s why I believe we have to humble ourselves to set aside our own thinking and continually examine the situation in context of what God has said is true.
Sometimes seeing with eyes like Christ turns our world upside down.
There is no doubt in my mind that Christ would take the place of all the innocent people who have been harmed by evil human beings who cause so much loss and destruction.
But He also loves unconditionally and extends grace to the people who cause harm. That really doesn’t sit well with my heart, because I want Christ to destroy evil and only allow good to conquer.
He did not die in the place of their eternal consequence (if they are willing to accept it) so they could continue in their ways. He did not do it because of what they stand for or what they choose to do with their lives. He hates those things.
Do not let grace be an excuse to keep on sinning.
He did it because their lives matter and His mission is to reconcile creature to the Creator.
And that’s when it begins to makes sense: I want evil and hate destroyed but I want precious human beings to be rescued and protected. That can only happen in Christ. He is the only one who can separate us from our sinfulness and bring us to Himself, cleansed and redeemed. He is the only one who can look at each of us and see God’s precious children, not the sinful things we do.
That is why His words echo your life matters. He isn’t seeing our world the way we see it. He is seeing with completely different eyes.
Because it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done – whether the world would classify you as innocent or if you’ve made a lot of bad decisions. There is no difference. He doesn’t love any less or any more.
That is why peace cannot exist apart from Christ. Evil invites chaos; evil lurks in the world around us and it tempts our hearts to act in ways that are not aligned with God’s commands. It will always be here until Christ returns and makes all things new.
Christ is near to the brokenhearted. There is nothing good about death and there is nothing in this world that can bring complete justice to the situation. Only the Lord can redeem and restore, exercise perfect justice and extend mercy. So let’s allow our hearts to hurt with those who are hurting. It is right to mourn the loss of life.
And then let’s start to look at things a little differently. Not with eyes that draw lines, but with hearts that say your life matters; there is a better way than hate; Christ’s love is the only thing that can bring healing.