Christ is counter everything we are as humans.
Living for Christ is also counter everything we want to do and be as humans.
Many days, the choices I need to make as a Christian who wants to obey God makes me wince and cringe. I have whispered the statement “God, you are cramping my style” under my breath too many times than I am proud of and sometimes, I have even yelled it out loud in prayer. I am an Alpha female, heck, I am human, and I don't particularly always enjoy that God is in control or that he instructs and disciplines his children as parents should. Choosing to surrender my life to Christ requires relinquishing control and exercising free-will within certain parameters and boundaries that he created out of love. “insert an epic eye roll here”
Yes, I am a work in progress, and I have told God on several occasions that I detest the caving in I have to do in the name of obedience. I don’t “always” get to choose a lot of things I’d choose if I’m left to my own human devices. I say “always” because some days, I just act like I want to act and deal with the discipline and/or scolding later. If I’m honest, most days I get grace and forgiveness over discipline and scolding.
So yesterday when Brandt Jean, Botham Jean’s brother, forgave Amber Guyger and embraced her, everything in me cringed. I thought, “that couldn’t be me.”
In the same breath, the Christian in me questioned my reaction.
AS A CHRISTIAN, who has received forgiveness and grace many times over and who will continue to need forgiveness and grace, I know what I am instructed and called to do. Honestly, we all need forgiveness. It is what Christ offers us all, and He expects us to forgive and leave vengeance to him. Botham’s family does not owe Amber Guyger forgiveness, and if and when they choose to give it, they don’t owe anyone, but God, an explanation. Hence, I can’t bring myself to judge Brandt’s action, but I can’t say I don’t feel some kind of way. I applaud his heart. He exhibited grace, and it is Christ’s and counter-human. Phew!
I am aware that forgiveness does not mean the pain, hurt, and anger goes away. Forgiveness can be a lifelong journey of engaging the emotions and laying it down at the feet of Christ over and over and over again. Forgiveness is a Christian mandate, and ultimately, it is freedom for the one who forgives, because pain and anger does not do much for one’s quality of life.
AS A HUMAN, I can’t or don’t know if I can. You hurt my loved ones, and you are going down. I can’t even fathom hugging you, because my hugging hands might become the weapon that suffocates you and squeezes the life out of you. Don’t come near me! Forgiveness is one thing, but touching you is another. I need space and time. LOTS OF SPACE AND DOUBLE DOSE OF TIME! I am still a work in progress, and the Holy Spirit may have to work a number on me for a few years, because that’s the human in me.
AS A BLACK WOMAN AND PERSON, I doubt if the world deserves us or our forgiveness. That is the crux at which I struggle. It seems and feels like we are always dishing out forgiveness. I am struggling with making a judgement call on the victims, because I don’t know the depth of pain that racism unleashes on the loved one of someone who died recklessly at the hands of a racist human or officer. Dear God, I pray I never experience that kind of pain. I can’t be mad at Brandt Botham, because this is going to be a lifelong journey for him and his family. Although, I question if forgiveness has to be a public display and declaration, but then I am quickly whipped into shape by God reminding me that the cross was a public display. Touche! “insert another eye-roll here” Let it be noted in the pages of history that I was livid when the judge hugged her. I just can’t! I am truly working on reconciling my faith with my humanity and my blackness!
However, forgiveness does not always mean lack of consequences, so I am glad she is going to jail for her actions, but ten (10) years though...”insert another eye-roll here”
How do you feel about the gift of forgiveness and the sentencing that Amber Guyger received?