Rev. Sarina Odden Meyer
Hope during the Black Lives Matter protests
Updated: Sep 9, 2020
Grace and peace to you through our Lord, Jesus Christ,
“They have treated the wound of my people carelessly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.” - Jeremiah 6:14
Brett and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary yesterday, and it prompted me to reflect on a change we are living through that has been central to us as a couple from the beginning. As newlyweds, we lived in Pittsburgh, in an urban, predominantly Black neighborhood. We attended a church whose mission was to bring racial reconciliation between Blacks and Whites in the city. I remember learning for the first time from my Black siblings in Christ, and then from my Black neighbors, the daily discrimination that Black folk face. Living among them, I also saw how systemic racism trapped them in generational poverty. As Brett and I—newlyweds—learned and changed we tried to talk about this situation with White family and friends. They consistently insisted that racism was dealt with during the Civil Rights movement and was not an issue anymore.
The recent protests against racial discrimination in the U.S. are the longest ever in U.S. history. I am so grateful for the endurance of the protestors. For too long, those with power in the U.S. have treated the wound of the people carelessly, claiming that there is peace in my home country, when there is no peace. It is very unsettling that the federal government is sending troops against the protestors—a violation of states’ rights and the right to peaceful protest, one of the hallmarks of democratic society—a move that is sowing chaos into the midst of a positive movement that is long overdue.
It is tempting to only see the negative while we live through these tumultuous times. But, I see a positive already emerging that brings hope to my soul. Awareness of the oppression that Black folk face daily is emerging in such great quantities that it feels like a light to the nations. People who would not listen before are now educating themselves. White people are joining the protests in large numbers, with signs that say things like, “I understand that I will never understand. Black Lives Matter.” Awareness is the first step to treating the wound of the people with care and healing. Awareness shines a light on the road ahead—giving hope that one day skin colour will simply be God’s beautiful creativity.
Go in peace and serve the Lord,