To the Church,
I am writing this in the aftermath of the killing of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and a still unidentified hanged man. In truth this is after the deaths of so many people of color throughout the past two years. I am writing this not out of rage but with a simple question in mind. To the church which holds my brothers and sisters in Christ who have decided to follow in his footsteps and be harbinger’s of love. You have decided to comfort, care for, and give food and drink to those in need and to love every neighbor as yourself. I just want to ask you, if you will be our Jonathan’s?
In the bible there was the most beautiful friendship shared between David and Jonathan, where as David struggled throughout most of their relationship, Jonathan was there for him. Jonathan encouraged David to not give up hope and remember the promises God had for him. He also fought beside David and did everything in his power to protect him knowing David would do the same for him. From my early days of reading the bible David, alongside Jesus, was always the image of what love should look like and his relationship with Jonathan was my image into what friendship should look like. Their relationship was not a simple “how are you?” and “good”. It was a carrying of each other’s burden’s, worries, dreams, and lives. With this beautiful example of love I am asking the church, will you be our Jonathan’s?
As of right now people of color in this nation are in desperate need of love, a person in whom they can rely on to not just encourage them that things are going to get better someday but to also fight the battle for that day with them. A lot of the frustration I and others have is that fellow Christians who do not share our burden, either do not acknowledge that there is a struggle in our lives or would simply like to tell us about the future.
Where are our Jonathan’s who will not be able to stay silent in the face of Saul but will ask him why he is doing this, who will question a society that chases after the lives of the innocent? Where are our Jonathan’s who cannot allow us to struggle alone? Where are our Jonathan’s who share our burden’s with us, who stop and take a moment to wonder how their David’s are doing? To wonder why they are so downcast, why they are so scared, and what they can do?
For the past two years I have been watching people be constantly killed knowing that it is because of the color of their skin that I share. For the David’s like me whose lives are at risk it is like being in the throne room with Saul as he throws spear after spear at us and for each miss someone else didn’t make it. For the past two years I have heard silence from my Christian community and I have heard more love coming from the mouths of non-believers than from my Christian family. I believe that all are capable of loving including non-believers but it is the believers who have chosen to love, to give, and care for others as a lifestyle. So I ask you, why are you so silent? Until recently there has been no sound and even now, just from a few.
To the ones who understand our struggles and have spoken out, thank you and may God fill you up with strength. Strength that you would be able to continue to love and stand for what is right even when all is against you because the path toward good is the one with the most resistance.
As for the silent, this is not a letter meant in hate but this is also not a plea for help. Without Jonathan, God could still have made David who he was but his presence made for a sweeter story and a better lesson in love and had Jonathan remained silent, his name would not be remembered for what it is. It is the name of a true friend. So this is my question. Will you, church, be the lovers you are called to be? Will you be our Jonathans?