Our nation has been rocked again with the news of two men who were fatally shot in altercations with police officers and also multiple officers killed during a protest in Dallas. This kind of news brings deep sadness, outrage, and protests from those in their immediate community as well as the rest of us around the country.
I am not usually one to write pieces immediately after an event. Instead I read reports and reflections from those much wiser than me and pray quiet prayers in my heart for the families and lives involved in tragedies such as these.
Although my kids are young enough that they can be sheltered from stories like this, I couldn’t help but think, however, after hearing the news this week that the #blacklivesmatter movement has real implications for my own life as a stay-at-home mom. You see I think #blacklivesmatter, while an important hashtag, reflects a deeper theological truth that our children must realize as we train them in God’s Word.
The term imago dei is Latin for “the image of God”. Christians use it to succinctly describe the relationship between God and man explained in Genesis 1:27. All humans reflect their Maker regardless of his or her physical characteristics. Our souls were created by an Almighty God to mirror His glory back to Him. Again various authors have written much more eloquently than I will, but this idea must be a part of the training of our children. In other words, because that other boy in my child’s Sunday School class was made in imago dei, he should be treated with kindness. Because my son’s little sister was made in imago dei, her worth in God’s eyes requires that he treats her with love and respect (even when she steals his favorite toy).
When our children learn the value of human life at a young age, their eyes will be open to the devaluing of human life in their society. Side note: this plays out in many more situations than police brutality. Abortion, abuse, and euthanasia are all sourced in a lack of appreciation of the worth of ALL human life.
I don’t have many solid answers for our nation’s violence issue. Shootings at nightclubs, schools, convenience stores, and even churches all point to the sad brokenness and sickness of a world ensnared by sin.
This is exactly why Jesus came. There was no one else who could begin the process of repair for people so lost and evil. While we don’t yet see complete perfection, it is coming! This our hope in the darkness.
In the meantime, may God burden our hearts as parents to instill in our children a deep love for their fellow human beings and a deep sense of responsibility to protect them when at all possible no matter the race, no matter the color, no matter the uniform, no matter the sin.
And may we never become numb to another soul entering eternity. May we pray for our neighbors who live in a very real fear for their lives. May we give them our support, prayers, and ultimately the hope of a soul Rescuer.
The gospel is for everyone. Period.