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An Open Letter to all: Wisdom, Righteousness, Justice, Peace, Reconciliation and Moving Forward–Virtue

By Chaplain Ayesha Kreutz

Ayesha Kreutz

Rochester, NY and the nation are hurting and divided as videos surface of interactions between police and people of color. We know hurt manifests itself in many ways, and hurt people can easily be taken advantage of and manipulated. As Christians, we need humility to move forward, or we will find ourselves either paralyzed with anger to recklessness. James 1:20 tells us “for man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires.” 

Proverbs 8:11 says, “For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.  Proverbs goes on to say in verse 13, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.

We can grieve and show grace and mercy, AND seek justice at the same time. This should not be an either or, but the principalities of evil KNOW if we are divided, we are easily controlled. There are a lot of places where common ground and unity IS possible.

Let the true church shows up! Letting those who are hurting and do not know the Gospel take the lead can only lead to more chaos.

What about the families, what about the hurting and the dead? 

We must acknowledge each other’s humanity and personhood. Most of us want justice and are seeking the wisdom to do so.

Men and women in our community have died untimely and tragic deaths by not only strangers but people we trust and those in authority.  And those who have abruptly left us no matter their background, color, criminal history, etc., are someone’s loved ones.  Communities have the right to grieve, mourn and ask questions. 

The remedy for our pain is JOY – Put Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last

Who are we as a community? What is our role as the body of Christ, as families, as activists and organizations?

As Christians we are held to a higher standard. Sure, “All have sinned.” We are not perfect, but we are still to show virtue and be “blameless, upright, fearing God and shunning evil.”

Loving God and loving people, all people, is both our duty and our privilege.

We are to be angry and sin not. We are to love our enemies. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves. We know that every human being, born and unborn, was created in the image and likeness of God, has value, and should be treated with dignity.  We despise lawlessness and strife; we seek peace.  

We are peacemakers, agitators, and mediators.  We want what everyone else wants, but the path forward toward equity, unity, and reconciliation for our community is JOY.

What are our police officers? Who should they be and what do we want them to be? 

The ideal police officer and first responder puts people first. Their chosen profession is one of helping and of honor. We expect them to show virtue and have a good moral character.

We hold them to a high standard because mistakes can be deadly. Yet, on this side of heaven, perfection is impossible. So, working within a flawed system, with flawed men and women, takes work. Where we see injustice, we root it out. When we need to extend mercy, we extend mercy. When we have a choice between JOY and anger, we should choose JOY. If we do this, and have this same expectation for our police officers, this results in improved community and police relations, and improved police policies and practices.  

Do we care about Officer Wellness?

We should care about an officer’s wellness for a couple of important reasons. Police officers are trained in self-defense and armed, and have the authority to stop you and question you in various circumstances. We should want to dedicate resources to making sure their health and wellness are intact, and that the stress of their job does not diminished their convictions.

When you take a life it does not leave you the same. Do we show the grace and mercy to grieve with them that they took a life?

The remedy for our pain is JOY – Put Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last

Officer Training? 

Law enforcement officers do just that… enforce the law. If we have a problem with the law that is where policy makers and; politicians come in. Right now, we are asking them to be law enforcement officers, mental health providers, EMT’s, psychiatrists and social workers. Why dog on the police for them doing what we asked them to do. If we want to change their roles, fine. That is a conversation we can have.

Increasing and reallocating resources to assist officers on calls for service that involve a mental health crises, crowd control, delivering death notifications, and other nonenforcement duties expected of officers is essential for our community to get the best quality of services for our taxpayer dollars. Adding funds to these nonenforcement services would help our police departments focus on the jobs they are best trained to do, protect and serve. 

There are other questions we can ask ourselves as ambassadors of Christ, But In the end, we can all work together to bring JOY in the midst of all the pain?

___
Ayesha Kreutz is founder of The Frederick Douglass Foundation of NY. Contact her at: chaplainakreutz@gmail.com, facebook.com/chaplainayesha.kreutz, twitter.com/Bladesinger6640

(The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of the Minority Reporter.)