Suggestions regarding racial reconciliation, especially within the Church, after recent events:
Read black authors, bloggers, and theologians; Rick Warren, Beth Moore, Shauna Neiquist, and Rob Bell—as cool as they are—don't count.
Realize that being "peacemakers" means lamenting with and demanding justice for; it means seeking the reconciliation of friends and strangers who may not understand each other (or realizing that you are the friend/stranger). Please understand that saying #BlackLivesMatter doesn't mean your life doesn't; it just means this suffering isn't about you. And being unified as a Body/Church means recognizing a specific part is deeply hurt.
Please do not try to broaden the pain being experienced—this pain is specific. And though our God is bigger than all, these evils are specific, and they seek to isolate specific groups by making them feel unheard/unseen. May we show them we hear, and we will learn to see.
May we stop asking the suffering to "listen" to simplifications; may we start offering them space to "say more". May we realize that Jesus wasn't white, and he was persecuted, killed, and resurrected (literal or figurative for those of other faiths/who do not believe); and in this way, we know that evil never/ever/ever has the last word.
May we realize our God is a multi-ethnic, justice-seeking, peacemaking advocate; yes "for all", but especially for the marginalized or suffering. And he calls them by name when they are in pain. Specifically.
Right now, we find hope by looking each other in the eye, studying other perspectives, and calling those who are hurting by name. Specifically.
This is our God. Intimate and specific; both to hurting communities, and to our own aching hearts. May we make space for God's narrative, and for God's hurting people. May we stop silencing their mourning song in all its intricacies and saddened harmonies. This choir must sing their lamentations, and we must listen. Only then can we anticipate a "dawn" involving anything different.
And until then (while we exchange stories and demand change), who's up for a donut run?