“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” 

― Martin Luther King Jr.

Racism - already rife in our country - has yet again come appeared in horrific ways. We mourn with those who mourn over all that the last few days have meant for so many among us, but really for all of us. And as we mourn, we actively seek justice so that we may foster true peace for all of us.

This is a prayer for the Biola community and the United States, in light of recent racial injustice.

Lord God, we are time and again faced with the overt racism of violence and injustice against brothers and sisters of color in our country. Over and again we witness hatred against young men like Ahmaud Arbery, 25, murdered on Feb. 23 as he was jogging through a neighborhood in Georgia. We hear of extreme violence against women like Breonna Taylor, killed in her bed on March 13 during a raid. We see horrific behavior among those calling the police against people like Christian Cooper, who early last week was simply birdwatching in New York City. We see excessive violence against men like George Floyd, killed just over a week ago in Minneapolis.

Lord, I am tired, but I can’t even begin to imagine the exhaustion of my friends and colleagues here at Biola and communities of color across the nation.

Forgive us, Lord, for allowing these things to happen yet again.

Bring comfort to friends and colleagues and communities of color across the nation who are frightened and in terror and so very exhausted right now.

And Lord, for those of us who have power to foster change and support the incredible work of Biola’s own area of Diversity and Inclusion, I pray that the grief at this violent and abhorrent behavior would continue to move us toward self-sacrificial love and action.

Lord, may our anger move us toward promoting justice. Show us where and how to speak up, to have the hard conversations, to advocate, to bring justice, to become anti-racist in thought, word and deed - not just as individuals or for this nation, but because we are the Body of Christ.

Keep us uncomfortable, Lord, until reconciliation comes. Keep us uncomfortable until we embody individually and corporately the shalom of mutuality and interdependence. Keep us uncomfortable until we reflect the beauty of diversity in unity.