There is always light in the darkness. Though wrong oft seems so strong, there is always the hope of redemption.
The family of Breonna Taylor has helped deliver that hope to Kentucky this weekend. As violent and destructive riots have taken place in downtown Louisville, Taylor’s family has taken the right steps in another part of Louisville to cry out for justice.
Breonna Taylor was mistakenly killed by Louisville police in March. Since then her family has been asking for justice and that her death be used to bring reform to police searches in Louisville and beyond.
In addition to Taylor’s death, the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Ga., has pushed racial tensions to their boundaries across America. This weekend those boundaries broke.
While violence raged in downtown Louisville, Taylor’s family moved their peaceful protest out of the downtown area. Organizers worked hard to maintain peace between protesters and the police, even going so far as to denounce violence as harmful to what they were trying to accomplish to honor the memory of Breonna Taylor.
There are many lessons from this weekend, and we must be careful what we act on. Three stand out in my mind.
First, we must grieve injustice and use it to motivate us to stand for life. Abortion is not the only life issue. From a biblical worldview, the sacredness of human life from conception to the coffin must be a priority.
Leaders of local, state and national governments must do more to protect life. We’ve just lived through a national shutdown for the last two and a half months. Now we know government leaders can bring everything to a halt in mere days. God has created government to protect the innocent and bring justice to the wrongdoer. No matter the age, gender, skin color or ethnicity, government leaders must do more to protect life.
A second thing we learn is that violence is not the answer. Jesus said in Matthew 26:52, “For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”
In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.”
This weekend proves again these words are true. Violence does not protect life and promote human flourishing. Leaders of groups who feel led to protest must work to ensure it is done in a non-violent way.
Finally, we must look within. We are always ready to blame someone else and point to the wrong of others. People need to be held accountable for their actions, but, in the end, I can only control my own thoughts and actions.
Rather than blame others, we should each take inventory of our own hearts to see how prejudice is affecting us. We must cry out to God to take away our own selfishness and replace it with love.
BRANDON PORTER is communications director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention and editor of Kentucky Today.