Hello Grace Church Family and Friends!

These past two weeks have been filled with a lot of emotion. We have experienced everything from anger to compassion. We’ve felt anger over the senseless murder of a black man we did not know. We’ve also been overwhelmed with compassion for his family that was devastated and broken over his unexpected loss. As Christians, both of these feelings are healthy. I don’t know a Christian that would approve of the death of George Floyd! No one would choose to die the way Mr. Floyd died! Remember, we are all made in the image of God. Our Scriptures condemn murder at any and all levels. Jesus said we commit murder if we hate someone in our heart.

Most of you know that I grew up in Wilmington, NC. My family lived in every project in the city at that time. I’ve had black friends all of my life. When I was sixteen I worked at Winn-Dixie with a black co-worker named Anthony. On occasion we would walk to his house in the projects. I think we startled his mother one day when we walked into their house at lunch. I was greeted by a huge tapestry in their living room with the words “Black is Beautiful” embroidered in large letters on the front! We never talked about it, but I noticed it appeared to be important to Anthony’s mother. He may have even looked at me with a slight snicker as we entered the front door. He was my friend, so it really didn’t matter!

From early on my mother worked with black ladies. As a young mother she worked at Corbett’s basket factory in Castle Hayne NC, and later at the many shirt factories in and around Wilmington. She never complained about her work that I remember. What I do remember is this. Mom worked hard and so did her black co-workers to provide for their families. Honestly, I’ve always had friends from the black neighborhoods. To this very day, I have many black friends; many of them are pastors. I care about them, and they care about me! What’s my point? I’m glad you asked! I can’t imagine losing any one of them in the way that George Floyd died. They are all living souls made by God. I value them as human beings first, and secondly, as my friends. As God’s people, let us be mindful that every life is valued by our Lord. I value you more than I can say! Every breathing person is a living soul. Let’s pray for Mr. Floyd’s family and for each of our black friends. George’s death was not pretty. It touched many lives, black and white. All human life is sacred in the eyes of God. Jesus died on the cross for sinners. That means He died for George just as He died for you and me.

Let Us Love One Another,

Pastor Mike <><