I would like to take a moment to share my heart to the photos that were captured on Sunday. You see the surface of the photos, but what you don’t see is how transformative that weekend was for me.
On Saturday, I was listening to Christine Caine‘s podcast which covered the topic “Stop Playing It Safe.” In the session, Christine spoke on how as we grew up as Christians we are programmed to live life by the status quo – that “normal is nice.” The reality is that we live & leave our lives operating in fear because we don’t want to leave our comfort zones. It struck me that God put us in this life in this time for a reason & we can’t avoid risks even if we tried. This made me reflect on my life lately & I prayed for God to lead me in a life of passion & abundance even if it means stepping out of my comfort zone.
Sunday morning I read about the protest for New Phila & quickly felt a conviction in my heart. With everything going on the past week, I was disheartened, but my heart wanted to be there. I decided that I wanted to bring my Bible & pray with the protesters. My husband Ty came with me also.
We arrived at the courthouse where the protest started. We began by praying with small groups & individuals, then we listened to stories shared be the people we prayed with. We listened, we cried & we prayed. My heart stretched.
We prayed with one gentleman who we found out was the organizer for the protest, & he invited us to lead the group in prayer at the park. We accepted, & marched with everyone to the park. All the while I had my Bible on me. I looked at Scriptures as we walked & I would feel my heart stretch more – asking questions & reflecting on Jesus’ life & ministry.
We arrived at the park. I was so nervous I didn’t know what to say. The organizer handed me the megaphone & everyone in the crowd knelt – all protesters & police officers. I can’t remember much of what I said, but I think the Holy Spirit took over (found out later that Sunday was Pentecost Sunday!). All I remember was that I thought about Jesus’ ministry.
I thought about how – even though he died for all because he loves us all – He lived his life going place to place person to person to tell them they mattered. He knew in His time & His culture the barriers & struggles that existed. All the while he shared a radical love & value to people that were overlooked, dismissed & oppressed – he showed their lives mattered. Samaritan’s lives matter; women’s lives matter; children’s lives matter; lepers lives matters; Roman lives matter; and so on. He loved all & died for all, but he shifted the focus throughout his ministry to identify & see the people who were hurting & share God’s love to them. That was the Gospel. I prayed with the crowd out of love with a Bible in hand. My heart stretched.
That day was a very humbling experience. When I arrived at the courthouse, all I thought about doing was pray for people & I didn’t expect to get an opportunity to pray with the crowd. In all of that, I didn’t expect that my heart would grow & stretch so much from listening to people’s stories & gaining a new perspective about the Gospel. God wanted me there so I can listen & learn in a new way.
Lately, I’ve been listening to Dr. Dharius Daniels‘ podcast. One of the quotes that stuck out to me in light of everything is, “We need Jesus and laws. We need Jesus to change hearts & we need laws to protect us from those whose hearts won’t change.” We need to understand that racism affects at a heart level & system level. It clouds a person’s heart with hatred & supremacy that can hurt people. It can also cloud systems that prevents helpfulness, kindness & equality. We as Christians need to be aware that racism is real & that we can’t be passive about it. Jesus didn’t live a life with passiveness, but out of action in love, peace & justice.
I know I’ve gone on for a while, but I wanted to take a moment to share what’s been on my heart. I’ve been thinking about this a lot more because my heart is heavy for my friends & colleagues in the African American community & for those that are my brothers & sisters in Christ. This is an important time where we need to come together out of compassion & empathy to seek changes in our hearts & systems. I’m glad that I’m seeing more churches talking about race & dialogues made locally for communities – let’s keep it up! Let’s come to the table to listen, learn & lift up. Black lives matter, and we need to show love & support as Jesus did throughout His ministry.
May we all live a life spreading empathy & love!
By Wilma Mullet

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