When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is near the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. --- Psalm 34:17-18
As the nation absorbs the guilty verdicts delivered in the case of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd, people of faith stand in solemnity and prayer.
Although the justice system has worked, there is still a family in pain over the unnecessary loss of their loved one. This is not a moment for celebration; it’s a time for reflection for all those involved in the death of George Floyd and all that unfolded in those nine minutes and 29 seconds last May, which prompted the largest movement for human rights in our nation’s history. It is a time for reflection on why justice is still elusive for far too many.
The verdicts provide greater assurance for all Americans that life, regardless of ethnicity, is sacred, equal, and worthy. It bolsters the truth that each child of God inherently possesses rights that must be respected by everyone, including by those sworn to serve and protect our communities.
Throughout the case, the prosecutor told the jury to “believe your eyes.” That call is ours as well. We must believe our eyes, our hearts, and our souls that demand us to continue to seek justice. Justice should never be for the privileged few. Justice must prevail for all.
This is a time of prayer for the Floyd family as they continue to mourn. This is also a time of prayer for the Chauvin family as they too are suffering. As the people of God, we know that forgiveness is available to all who seek it with earnest hearts.
This is a time for awareness and awakening. It is also a time for action. The work continues as we labor to secure equal justice. It is the work of a lifetime. It shouldn’t take a man being murdered in the street and virally viewed around the world to receive accountability. What happens next time when there is no video?
Let our deeds be a legacy that leads us to seek Beloved Community, an end of violence, and God’s unerring justice and bold shalom. Join me -- join us in the Baltimore-Washington Conference -- as we work towards this goal.
Blessings and peace,
Bishop LaTrelle Easterling