What is alright to feel?
How does feel after tragedy happens? Colloquialisms just do not seem to do justice to what happened last night at a Bible Study! Forgiveness is great destination, but before we aim for that destination, should not we also explore the visceral components that leads us towards forgiveness. I AM MAD! I AM ANGRY! I AM PISSED OFF! Before condemning the words I am using, FEEL what I am trying to express. It isn’t right for innocent people to die so tragically, they were at church!
First, it is ok to feel….It is ok that you cannot articulate your feelings. Something is not right and I don’t like it. Allow people the space to feel and react! Crying, Anger and Nonverbal expressions are ok. Unfortunately, African Americans, Christians are upset not only with the tragedy, but with the possible reaction that could be detrimental to White people. First, the Scripture allows for people to be angry….”Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” I am given permission to be angry and God is ok with it. I can be angry with the white man who killed or it is ok with being angry with God. Why did God allow this happen? ”
Where do we go from here? Are we living in a post racial society? None of the events in NYC, Ferguson, Charleston, and other cities remind and reinforce that Race is a plausible reality that dictates behavior, perception and a quality of life. Identity and knowing Jesus are not unrelated! God created us ethnic beings, which is one component of my activity. However, in the United States Ethnic Identity for Black people is the primer for interpreting our intelligence and other aspect our human experience.
The Impact Movement does not offer a panacea for issues plaguing the Black community. We create space for you to engage God, and know that God is not afraid to engage our real dissonance with issues or incidents of grave tragedy. God does offer assistance! “ Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes”. Psalm 37:7 God informs us that genocide and murder is something that we can move through to a redemptive future. Anger is part of this journey. What we offer is the opportunity to journey towards a meaningful life that doesn’t rescue people from a hell after death, but the hell that we are conflicting with now! I encourage you to be angry and not sin, but it is ok to be angry! After you feel and experience the anger, our destination is not simply forgiveness or forgetting the tragedy. We are seeking to redeem the tragedy, minimize repeating the tragedy with a redemption that preserves our life to be fully human, that loves God and embraces others as human.