Over the last few days, I have been privileged to help plan my son’s wedding, which has allowed me moments of distraction and hours of joy. Yet, no matter how hard I have tried, I don’t have the right or the luxury to remain silent. I have the privilege of raising two incredibly strong, loving, intelligent, and gifted African American young men; Markus and Jamal deserve to have a future and a long life. They deserve to come home every evening, and their soon-to-be bride, mother, family, and friends should not worry about their safety.
Women of Christian Women Connection and the tribe I love, The Church of God, please hear a mother, a sister, a friend cry for help!
Listen. Can you hear the strained voice cry out, “I can’t breathe”?
Listen. Can you hear the cries and tears of heartbroken family and friends?
Listen. Can you hear the unrest and the shouts in our cities?
Listen. Can you hear?
It’s all I hear. With every breath I take, I hear George Floyd. When I’m with my family, I hear the cries of his family. When I watch the news, I hear the anger and the frustration reach a boiling point.
I don’t have words to alleviate the great pain, and I don’t have a quick-fix solution.
Most of all, I don’t have the privilege of remaining silent. “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance...will arise from another place...And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).
My sisters in Christ, hear my heart. I need you. The church needs you. We have been called for such as times as this. Let us honor our calling and do the work. The events of these past few weeks remind us that there is much work to be done in our families, in our churches, our communities, and our nation.
Listen. Hear the pain. Let your heart be broken. Shed tears. And then, let us get to work.
Rise up women of God and confront, repent of, and dismantle the sin of racism!
Rise up women of God and lead in the way of love!
Rise up women of God and teach our children a better way!
Rise up women of God and be agents of reconciliation and heralds of hope!
Rise up for we have all been called “for such a time as this.”
Rev. Dr. Arnetta McNeese Bailey