I have been asked several times how I felt about protests, police officers and in general our community’s response to George Floyd’s murder and racial injustice as a whole.
Although I’ve had many private conversations and text exchanges with friends recently, I have reserved publicly speaking.
I knew how I felt but I didn’t quite know the words- not sure that I still do. I knew I needed to listen before speaking and I needed to allow time and space for other voices to take precedence. I knew that any action I took needed to start in my heart, then my home, then within my circles of influence at work, church and with friends.
There is still a lot I don’t know, and never will, but I am thankful to know the One that does. I am thankful for colleagues that aren’t afraid to proclaim Jesus. I am thankful for Mr. Jones and Mrs. Moultry who bring us their honesty and insight into the challenges of our minority residents.
At our City Council meeting last night during the portion we are allowed to make personal remarks at the end of the agenda. The moment typically reserved for announcements and condolescences led itself to speak openly and honestly with a lot of emotion.
It wasn't planned, but Mayor Reeves led us by taking time to share his heart in a very raw moment that set the stage for us to all to use our platform to share our heart and our hope.
An excerpt from some of my comments last night:
“I was not prepared to come to church tonight but I am thankful to work with colleagues that are not afraid to speak God’s word. Jesus said blessed are the peacemakers. I want to thank those in our community who are setting an example of coming together. To those that have given us an example of peaceful protests, I want to thank them. To the young man that started it with simply holding a sign I don’t think he had any idea what he was starting but he felt compelled to do something. We talk to our young people all the time and tell them they can make a difference and that you can have a voice. It takes courage to do that sometimes and I’m thankful for his example and the pace he set in doing that and those that participated with hi, We have officers that are charged to keep the peace. I am thankful to our law enforcement and our first responders, those that do it the way you are supposed to and do everything you can to handle stressful and difficult situations in the most peaceful way possible. This is an opportunity for us to come together, for us to be an example for us to be different.”
Our city is blessed to have leaders that pray with and for one another and you. We are blessed to have your prayers and we have an opportunity to pray together this weekend.
Thank you to Troy Police Department detective Lt. Brian McLendon for organizing a Prayer Walk to gather churches from every neighborhood together for the sake and power of prayer.
We will meet Saturday at 10am at Troy First United Methodist Church. I hope to see you there.