Then he will answer them, saying, "Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me."
~ Matthew 25:45
I find that I am without words when it comes to the death of another unarmed black man on the streets of our country. There is something that strikes at the heart of who we are as children of God when we fail to recognize the holy that exists within each of us. Time and time again, we turn to the words of Jesus, and are reminded, "Whatever you have done to the least of these, you have done to me." (Matthew 25:40)
I am drawn to join the crowd who asked, "When did we see you, Lord?"
This morning I struggle to remove the eyes I have been born with and seek to understand how one of God's children could be held to the ground, with onlookers asking that he be set free, and that nothing was done. A man dies, and we still look and ask ourselves, "When did I see you, Lord?"
My soul wants to scream as I consider the road I wish this rage to take, but yet, I stop at the roadside with the crowd that still is asking, "When did I see you, Lord?"
I suddenly recognize the signposts of our failed humanity, and our inability to honor this request that we, "Love one another."
I am foolish enough to argue with those who do not recognize that we are all made in the image of God. I take the bait, and I loudly ask, "When did I see you, Lord?"
Once again, I join Peter in the shadows, declaring, "No, I don't know this man," as the cock has crowed for the hundredth time as another person dies.
"When did I see you, Lord?"
I am reminded that in our own anguish, we ignite terrible unrest, that disturbs our very soul. There is a morbid darkness that seems to have paralyzed us, and we must find a way to break out of this cycle that continues to block our view of what it is that God wants from us.
My prayer this morning is for us to open our eyes. For us to no longer ask, "When did I see you, Lord?" To recognize the naked, poor, and the stranger. That we suddenly have an understanding that we are all God's children. That we be profiled as followers of Jesus, rather than judged by eyes that only see what we have been taught to see.
"When did I see you, Lord?"
I saw you as an unarmed black man, on the streets of Minneapolis, asking for a chance to catch your breath, while others watched. You are crucified over and over, and we watch. We still taunt you, and declare, "If you are God, then come down from there." You do not work that way.
We ask, "Why have you abandoned us?"
You have not. You are still there. Being beaten and bruised, and somehow still finding words to say, "Forgive them for they know not what they are doing."
I see you, Lord.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.