Dear Workers of Faith family,
I began writing this on our facebook page but it got too long and out of control, so here it is. I don’t quite know how to start this, but I also don’t want more time to pass without your staff workers saying something. First, I confess the ways I’ve stayed silent up until now and chosen to use my privilege to disengage with the happenings in Ferguson. God have mercy on us all, especially non-black Christians who have remained apathetic and silently complied with the devaluing of black lives. I know I have personally sinned by remaining silent and therefore complicit in a racist and broken system that says it’s okay for black and brown folks to be murdered for no reason. So to my non-black Christian brothers and sisters – maybe the point of honest confession and repentance is where we need to start. What’s the point of pretending to be better than we are. We are far more broken, yet far more loved by the God of Justice, than we know.
Okay, onward to the point. By the grace of God, we as a multiethnic faith community stop, acknowledge, and lament the inhumane and unjust murder of Michael Brown. These words don’t even do what actually happened justice, but we are pained by the loss of another black life. I can only imagine what the Brown family and black community are feeling as they again have to explain why this is an outrage. There is no reason why the black community needs to again justify the basic humanity and inherent value of your boys and girls, women and men, to the rest of America. We mourn the loss of Michael Brown and too many like him, we pray for his family, and we stand humbly with the saints on the ground that have stood up to speak truth and be prophetic witness. May God sustain, heal, protect, and reconcile.
This summer in Manila, we learned the Tagalog word “kapwa,” meaning people of shared identity and experience. Despite our differences, may God give us the grace to be kapwa to one another. I think Workers of Faith is an opportune place to start. My prayer for our community is that God would do a healing work on our eyes and hearts, so that we may see and treat ourselves, each other, and God as our Creator intended.