It is hard to ignore or get away from even for the most stoic of us. It has rattled us and ruffled our feathers maybe even plucked off some of those ruffled feathers.
One thing though is clear, the taking of a life in broad daylight with the world watching must represent one of the lowest points of humanity in modern times.
The death of George Floyd that fateful day on a street in Minneapolis represents a watershed in the long arduous struggle for equality and social justice anywhere in the world. It has galvanised people of all colour and creed into action to march in protest basically sending out one message, enough is enough.
It is hard to ignore the many young white men and women joining the BLM protest marches around the world. I believe they joined the protest because the injustice they see being meted out to blacks is at variance with their conscience. And I believe a good number of them joined the protest because of their sense of fairness.
They are not prepared to listen to what others say the truth is but have gone to search for it themselves and they have reached their own conclusion and their conclusion is what we have seen on our streets. They are beckoning to us to join them in doing away with injustice, lack of fairness and discrimination based on colour.
They are saying Black Lives Matter and the corollary to that I say is all lives matter. I matter to you and you matter to me and we all matter to God.
I believe also that by joining the protest, they are unknowingly reiterating those famous words of MLK when he said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
They are leading the way and asking for our support to bring that to reality. They have laid down the gauntlet and proclaiming the kind of future they want to live in and I dare say that future is now. Are we watching and listening?
We must ask ourselves why the death of George Floyd has impacted the world so much. No one knew of him until he died that rather cruel way. But something changed when he died and that change has reverberated around the world so much so that it has led to calls for statues around the UK to be pulled down because of their links to slavery.
I rather think the change we need to see is in our hearts. Let’s pull down the monumental strongholds of resistance within our hearts to racial discrimination and social injustice that have stood for centuries. Pull them down and teach the next generation to love and respect people whatever the colour of their skin.
Let’s circumcise our hearts of racial prejudice so we can see the goodness and richness that The Lord has endowed us with as people regardless of race. Like one brilliant commentator remarked, “we all belong to one race, the human race.”
MLK once said, ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’ Let’s teach ourselves and our children to love unconditionally and we’ll witness the brightness of morality flood our nation.
We stand on the precipice of change the likes of which we have never witnessed before in this generation so let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream (Amos 5:24 paraphrased). By all means, take a knee if you must but while there bend the second knee in reverence to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ever ask or think according to His power that works in us. And when you’re back on your feet, stand up for righteousness, equality and social justice for therein lies our peace.
For there is neither white, black or brown, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for we are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28 paraphrased). And may the peace of God which surpasses all understanding guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, Amen. (Philippians 4:7).
Practical advice on prevention of COVID-19 infection
1. Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitiser gel if soap is not available.
2. Avoid touching your face.
3. Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
4. If driving, wipe the door handles and steering wheel with a sanitising gel before and after driving.
5. For those working with patients, take your shoes off at the door before entering your house on returning from work and take off your clothes on entering. Wash them and take a shower. Clean your shoes with antimicrobial wipes or spray and leave them preferably in a box in the hallway to prevent cross-contamination.
6. When you go shopping leave all your shopping in the bag on the floor and wipe all sealed packaging if possible with antimicrobial wipes. Wash allfresh produce with water before refrigeration. If possible take off the outer packaging of foods and re-bag them in sealable bags. This can be tedious and time consuming but better safe than sorry.
7. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
8. Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards.
9. Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
10. Avoid handshakes.
11. Maintain a safe distance from others when out and about (at least 2metres).
12. Avoid large social gatherings – these are temporarily banned under the lockdown and social distancing rule anyway.
13. Stay at home as much as possible and avoid unnecessary travel
14. All elderly people 70 years and above and those with chronic medical conditions are well advised to stay at home and avoid social contacts as much as possible (referred to as shielding)
15. The use of face coverings is now mandatory on all public transport from the 15th of June 2020. The British Medical Association (BMJ) have gone one step further and are suggesting that face coverings should be worn in all areas where social distancing is not possible like shops, restaurants, and pubs. So there we have it, If unsure just wear one. Remember to keep your reusable face coverings clean and make sure they fit well covering the nose, mouth and the sides of the face to prevent leakage of air sideways and backward
16. Lastly, if you experience symptoms please seek medical advice early
May The Lord bless and keep you safe as you continue to stay alert. And oh yes, keep supporting our frontline workers.