I’ve been reading a lot of articles and posts about the Derek Chauvin trial. Many comments are truly loathsome, burning with spite, thinly-disguised racism, even violence – and some have come from self-professing Christians.
Yes, the lines have been drawn. Many are cheering the decision made by the Minneapolis jury and others are decrying it.
I am siding with George Floyd.
I’m siding with Derek Chauvin, too.
No, I am not condoning criminal behavior or police brutality. When I say I am siding with these two men, I am recognizing that I’m siding with everyone, for we are all in this together. Because we share a common humanity, we must see drug addiction, racism, bullying and every other form of sin as a common problem. Eventually, someone’s sin will effect you or yours and your sin will effect someone else.
But it can mean that our good works can have a ripple effect, too. That is why Christ left behind His church, so that we may continue His mission on earth.
As long as there are people who are struggling with substance abuse, the church has work to do.
As long as racist attitudes prevail and hatred lurks in the heart, the church has work to do.
As long as there are people who are in jail, living under bridges, exploited for sex, struggling with mental health, or shut up in their houses without hope of their next meal, the church has work to do.
Because, you see, all of these people are Christ in disguise. They bear the image of God. The Bible tells us so. Black, brown, white, gay or straight, liberal, conservative, rich or poor – the divine image and likeness is stamped into every human soul. What that means is that God sees us as sacred – no exceptions. The fact that George Floyd was not an angel and Derek Chauvin was convicted has no bearing on this profound spiritual truth.
When we ignore fellow human beings in need or distress, we ignore Christ. When we belittle them, we belittle Christ. But when we minister to them, we are ministering to the very Lord of heaven and earth. Jesus said so: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matt. 25:35-36).
This is profound truth: when we side with humanity, we side with Jesus Christ Himself.