From the Heart of Pastor Chris

From the Heart of Pastor Chris

Written by: Chris Stukenberg

When George Floyd was killed this summer, I was horrified by the footage I saw. I mourned and reached out to a number of friends of color and also friends who serve in law enforcement. Not a person I talked to thought that what they saw was okay. Everyone was concerned about how our nation would react and were even more deeply saddened to see the violence that ensued. I will never fully understand why people would respond violently to violence, but I understand pain and know that "hurt people hurt people." Many of us began praying for and actively seeking a solution.

We as a nation are a long way from being a place of peace, but I feel that today the right decision was made. Derek Chauvin was found guilty. However, we must be clear: this verdict was not reached because of violent protests or because politicians made their voice heard or because justice is blind in America. I think we've all questioned these things. This verdict was reached because a jury of Derek's peers found him guilty. This is how our justice system works. It doesn't always get it right. It never fully can, but today it feels like justice was served for George and for his family. I hope this is true and I pray that justice will continue to be impartial in the days ahead.

This is hard for us all. We don't always know what to say or do, and these feelings are understandable (and okay). However, we need to keep longing for better. We desire a world in which justice prevails. Christ will bring proper justice upon His return (Revelation 19+20). We hope for that day. In the meantime, we as followers of Christ can desire it here and now (Amos 5:24).

Will you join me in praying for the family of George Floyd? While they likely feel that justice was served, this will not bring him back. Lord have mercy on them and help us (the global church) to love them well in the days ahead.

Will you join me in praying for Derek Chauvin? May God draw him to Himself and may this new reality for him cause him to want to follow Christ and seek Him out in new and fresh ways. May he seek God's mercy and one day seek forgiveness for what he has done.

Will you join me in praying for Minneapolis? They have been trying to manage this case with mixed results. Let's pray for peace and for joy to return to a city that has been working through significant pain for the past year.

Will you join me in praying for America? May this be a first step in becoming the nation we want to be. May my brothers and sisters of all races and nationalities feel more confident that justice will be served. May we walk together towards solutions that allow us all to have safer communities and feel that the voices of truth will be heard more clearly. May we all be more cautious with our words/actions and seek to see a better tomorrow together.

We are a long ways away from being the nation we collectively would like to be. I do not feel joy about this verdict, but I do feel a temporary peace. A man is dead and another will likely spend most of his remaining days in jail. A city needs to rebuild and more cases like this will come (and indeed already have happened over the past few months). Let's put politics and prejudice aside. Let's seek better. This is why Pastor Mark and I drove around Freeport praying for our city when the violence was beginning this summer. This is why Pastor Rich and I had no problem participating in a peaceful protest. This is why we continue to grow and learn from our friends who long for equal footing with white people. I'm thankful today for a verdict and praying for a less contentious tomorrow. I'm hopeful and I hope you are too.
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1 Comment


Bob & Rose Harkness - April 21st, 2021 at 4:20pm

Thank you ,Chris for this article. Bob and I watched this yesterday, and cried with the family and all of Minnesota and America, as we all felt the same elation; that this was a start, to a change that needs to take place in America. We used to be an America that was proud and admired. Maybe we can become that America again. Praise God for this day, and for fresh beginnings.

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