1 Corinthians 12:26 “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” When violent protests started sweeping over the United States and then across the world in reaction to the death of George Floyd, I encountered multiple people in Asia condemn them with incredulity. “We haven’t had race riots in Singapore for decades. What is going on?!” I personally tried to empathize but found it difficult to condone violence. I believe that one must fight hate with love, and have seen in my own life how a cycle of negativity just spirals into more and more conflict. But today I felt God gave me a new perspective on this. There are many places in scripture that characterize the body of God’s children as just that… a body. The ultimate expression of love is to treat someone as if they were an extension of yourself, a part of your own body. Yesterday my son bit his tongue and had a violent reaction to the pain. If his tongue had not communicated this pain to the rest of the body, the muscles of his jaw might not have released their grip. Sometimes members of a body need to communicate the severity of the pain they are experiencing, and that can benefit the body overall. I still can’t condone violence. I still believe true love conquers all. But I don’t feel it’s my place to judge protesters, even those expressing violence. God’s job is to judge, not mine. But it is my job to hear the pain of fellow members of my body and to react in love. Dear God, I lift up my brothers and sisters of color in the United States and around the world. I pray that you would heal them of the wounds they have suffered for centuries. You are a loving father, and you love them so much. We know that hate, conflict, violence are not of you, but what the enemy intends for evil, you use for good. So we look forward in expectation to all the love and peace that will overflow as a result of bringing injustice and pain to light. In your son’s name, Amen.
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