This is the letter I had read to my church the Sunday after the verdict, I was out of town when the verdict was given. We’ve been serving young men before this verdict and the truth is our neighborhoods need more than prayer, they need people to be tangible displays of the gospel…
Good Morning Vision,
I’m sure by now all of you are aware of the verdict of the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman Trial, many of you are enraged by the verdict of ‘Not Guilty’. I understand and I feel you in many ways and I grieve with the family because they’ve lost their son and nothing will bring him back. I’ve seen many of your post on Facebook and I’ve seen rage, cursing, disbelief, confusion and disgust. I hope that this verdict doesn’t cause you to lose sight of what really in view here. It’s important for us to put a few things in perspective here:
1) NONE of us know what really happened totally and we’re all siding based what we know, which is incomplete
2) A guilty verdict still wouldn’t bring Trayvon Martin back, nor would it unify our country
3) George Zimmerman, needs our prayers too and we should pray for his salvation
4) The justice system isn’t the kingdom
I have my feelings about the case and I wouldn’t lie to you guys about that, but I also understand that this verdict didn’t surprise my Lord and to that I rest in Prov. 15:3 which says, The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. He’s still on the throne and ultimately judgement is up to Him. God knows and no one will escape His judgment and we all can rest in that whether guilty or not. Lastly as a pastor of a growing and increasingly more diverse church I hope to shed a little light on the reason as to why so many African-Americans are outraged. First to my fellow African-American’s, don’t make this a black vs. white issue and view this as ‘white people winning’, Zimmerman is Hispanic and the verdict shouldn’t cause you to judge all white and hispanic brothers and sisters through the lens of the six jurors that acquitted Zimmerman. Don’t allow this verdict to cause you to flow in hatred or bias towards other races, we must administer grace, even to those that agree with the outcome of this trial that are outside or inside your racial make-up. To my Anglo (white) brothers and sisters, it’s important to understand that in this country blacks were at one point considered 3/5’s of a person. This verdict for many wasn’t about murder, but about racial profiling, racial stereotypes and civil injustice. When a young black man is killed, whether self-defense or not and the attorney says at the press conference after the verdict “I still think my knock, knock joke was funny” many feel that a black person, in particular a black males life simply isn’t as important as others IN THIS COUNTRY and we’re subjected to feel like 3/5’s of a person again, while others simply laugh. It seems for many African-Americans that the devaluing, degrading and disregard of an African-American life is still something that this country refuses to distance itself from and we relive the images of the civil rights movement and Jim Crow, in which African-Americans were dehumanized and that was considered to be a social norm. Rather than just questioning the rage, seek to understand and ask questions to understand and empathize with those affected by this outcome. While we’ve come a long way, obviously there’s still much work to be done. That’s why I’m glad that our hope, our faith and our trust isn’t in this judicial system, but in the kingdom of God. A judicial system ran by sinners in a fallen world can and will not be perfect and will fail us at times. That’s why Christ is our hope and he will administer justice for all and He’s done that on the cross. So if this judicial system has upheld, disregarded, failed, tainted or failed you, just know there’s another judicial system that never fails. So let’s pray and let’s get busy, we can change the narrative here in Raleigh, do more than post a Facebook status about your disdain, but rather get out and share your faith and change a life. We do have a duty and honor to respond with grace and show that while this decision hurts many, this isn’t the end of the story. I love you all and I’ll be back soon.