Oh Christ, Please Come Quickly

When we fail to see anyone first and foremost as an image-bearer of God, we fail to see that person as fully human.

I am desperately longing for heaven. I anxiously wait for the full realization of my salvation, as I wait in the “already but not yet.” Jesus, please come quickly!

This is very difficult for me to write. I’ve been processing and thinking, praying and wrestling, and attempting to put these thoughts into words for days. My heart is broken, and my emotions are all over the map. The Lord has made me painfully aware of sin and prejudice in my own heart that I was completely oblivious to in myself.

I resisted as the Lord pushed me to share on this topic, not because I think it’s unimportant. I’m afraid. I’m afraid of my own inadequacy and ignorance. I pray for God to speak clearly through me, despite my feeble ability to communicate. The discomfort I feel, the hurt and brokenness I am experiencing is important, it is from the Lord, and it refuses to be brushed under the rug.

My heart hurts, and it’s impossible to find the right words to express my thoughts. I hate racism. I will never understand the hardships that ignorant and contemptuous prejudices inflict upon people of color. I feel ashamed of my complacency and willingness to turn a blind eye in the past.

My husband and I live in the heart of Atlanta. I watch the news and see restaurants I enjoy broken and looted. I see the Target I shop at destroyed. I feel a visceral anger and fear when I see those images splashed across my TV screen and flooding my social media feed.

God, please soften my heart! Please give me eyes to see from another’s perspective. More than ever before, he is breaking my heart, shattering me, keeping me up at night over all that is going on around us right now. But far above that I am finally opening my eyes to the pain – a deep-seeded, systemic pain that drives people to protest. Since I learned of the death of Ahmaud Arbery, God has been shining light into some of the darkest corners of my heart, chipping away at some twisted values and ideas hiding in there. When I saw the horrible video of George Floyd pleading for his life, I wept. It is painful to realize my own shortcomings, but I thank God for showing them to me. I never want to be a contributor to systemic racism, a fellow oppressor. For the first time in my life I am intentionally working to learn how to help, instead of add to the hurt.

Until recently, I am ashamed to admit, I brushed racism under the rug. I would see news reports or videos of people being mistreated and feel outraged. Soon, that anger would fade and disappear into the back of my mind. Like many others, I never thought of myself as racist. I genuinely have never seen someone as less than myself because of the color of his/her skin. That being said, I never spoke up. I never did anything to try and stop it. It did not personally effect me, so it was easy to push it to the back of my mind.

Lord, I repent! Please continue to show me prejudice and racism that is hiding in my heart. Lord, please forgive my complacency and willing ignorance. Please forgive my neglect in praying for, standing with and loving people who look different than me.

So, what?

Racism is a disgusting and reflection of human sin and depravity. Sin is the root of the problem, so there is no lasting solution apart from the gospel. This is above all a sin issue, so it is ultimately a gospel issue.

Yeah, so what does this mean? It means it is time for the church, for the body of Christ, to step up and fight for our brothers and sisters of color. It is time for we, the body of Christ, to defend and honor our fellow image-bearers. The hope of the gospel is for every person on earth, not a select nationality or ethnicity.

When we fail to see anyone first and foremost as an image-bearer of God, we fail to see that person as fully human.

What is the gospel?

Every person to ever walk this earth, other than Jesus Christ, was born a sinner. We were born in rebellion against the God who created us and loves us. Because he loves us so much, Christ came to live a perfect, sinless life on earth. Despite his lack of sin, Christ died a sinner’s death, so that I – we – you could be reconciled to God the Father. Friend, if you have not already, pray and ask God to forgive your sins. Surrender your life to Christ the Lord. Only in HIM is there true peace.

Lord, I am eager for your return. I am angered by my own sin and by the sin of the world around me. Lord, I long for heaven, where sin and suffering, death and pain will be no more. Oh, Christ, please come quickly!

Genesis 1:26-27: “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, the whole earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” So God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female.”

Revelation 5:9: “And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slaughtered, and you purchased people for God by your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation.” [Speaking of Christ]

Revelation 7:9-10: “After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!'” [Speaking of the scene in heaven, believers surrounding the throne of God]