Tonight, my heart breaks.
It's Christmas Eve. We celebrate a birth, a child come from Heaven to Earth. But too often in the midst of our celebration and beautiful lights, we forget the true circumstances of that birth.
We forget He was born in a stable. We forget He was born into a poor, poor family to an unwed, teenage mother. We forget He was born to an unknown people, in an unknown place. We forget Nazareth was the ghetto. We forget He was despised and rejected, we forget He did not have an appearance that attracted people, that infact He was despised and held in low esteem.
My heart breaks because Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy, peace, love. A time to remember, a time to celebrate, a time with family. And tonight countless families must go through this season without loved ones, because for many families this is the first Christmas without their babies. My heart breaks for the mothers, families and friends of #MikeBrown,#EricGarner, #TamirRice, #AntonioMartin, #AiyanaStanleyJones, #TrayvonMartin and so many others.
And my heart breaks because so many hearts are NOT breaking for these families. Because so many people are diverging the conversation from LIFE to excuses and reasons. He did this, she did that, the police were justified, it's because they didn't have a father-figure, if only they didn't grow up there, if this, if that. My heart breaks because people try to change#BlackLivesMatter to all lives matter, unable to understand that of course all lives matter and no one is denying that, yet our world says black lives don't matter, and we are saying yes, yes they do.
My heart breaks because the what happened, the "facts," the who, why, and how, are not, and cannot be, the prevailing conversation. My heart breaks because the Jesus whose birth we celebrate tomorrow came to earth and died to have victory over sin and death and fight for justice and mercy because love wins. And when we change the conversation to facts and justifications, we forget the true conversation must start at the reality that we are all human beings, we are equal in our humanity, we deserve love, justice, and equality, we deserve freedom. We should get to a point where we don't need #BlackLivesMatter because our world is finally acknowledging that all lives, colors and cultures are beautiful, equal, and loved.
My heart breaks because this season is about love, and yet tonight so many can do nothing but weep for the brothers, sisters, daughters, friends, fathers, uncles, mothers lost. And my heart breaks because instead of having compassion, feeling love, we try to say we're in a post-racism age, white privilege doesn't exist, and the cops were justified in shooting yet another black kid.
So maybe we can take a step back. Before fighting, debating, and shouting in hopes our opinion come out loudest, let's think before we speak. And before we speak let's try love. Let's try compassion. Let's try mercy. And let's try justice. And let's remember that the Jesus whose birth we celebrate came to break down an unjust system and fight for justice and mercy. Whether you believe He was the Son of God or not, you cannot deny His teachings are centered on love and justice. So let us love one another, because of the deep abiding love we ourselves rest in.