For years, I’ve given my body to the struggle against police brutality. On multiple occasions, I came within feet of giving my life. When George Floyd was murdered, I was horrified. For months and months, I’ve been demanding justice…praying with my feet if you will. Thus, I expected to be overjoyed if a guilty verdict was reached. I wasn’t.
Let there be no doubt, Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. The verdicts are correct. Yet, the outcome didn’t feel like progress…it felt sad. As people started to celebrate, my eyes remained glued to the man being led away in handcuffs. I couldn’t figure out why. I prayed for God to release me from whatever was going on with my soul. The reply was clearer than anything I’ve ever heard in my life. While you’re praying for everyone else who’s been effected by this senseless tragedy, pray for Derek Chauvin.
I was overwhelmed. I didn’t have enough strength for such things. I just wanted to be done with all of it. I didn’t really want to give another second of my life to Derek Chauvin. In my moments of resistance, I remembered the words…
“…love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…”
Jesus couldn’t have been clearer.
“…love Derek Chauvin and pray for Derek Chauvin…”
I realized anew that the journey to true justice was always going to flow through the redemption of those who perpetuate injustice. You can’t hate your way to wholeness. In fact…
“…hate for hate only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. If I hit you and you hit me and I hit you back and you hit me back and go on, you see, that goes on ad infinitum. It just never ends. Somewhere somebody must have a little sense, and that’s the strong person. The strong person is the person who can cut off the chain of hate, the chain of evil. And that is the tragedy of hate, that it doesn’t cut it off. It only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. Somebody must have religion enough and morality enough to cut it off and inject within the very structure of the universe that strong and powerful element of love.”
-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dexter Avenue Baptist Church
November 17, 1957
This is no time to celebrate the destruction of an enemy. This is a time to press into the work of revolution…one in which love will finally break the cycle of hate. Let’s end police brutality now. While you’re praying for everyone else who’s been effected by this senseless tragedy, pray for Derek Chauvin.