By Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew
Lately, I find myself staying up later than I should. I’m by nature a night owl. When I was a little girl, my mother worked late, and I would be up with my dad listening to music. Before my daughter was born, I would work really late because for some reason, I had more clarity and the ability to focus. Even when I was pregnant, I remember staying up watching Martin until about 2:00 am. No, it wasn’t the best habit, but it’s been a challenge for years, and for a period, I had gotten so much better with going to bed before 11:00 until the other night. I made the mistake of reading the news while preparing for bed. That was a huge mistake. I read about the murder of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old beautiful soul who was killed on his way home by police for looking suspicious in 2019.
In his last words, he said this to the three officers: “I can’t breathe. I have my ID right here. My name is Elijah McClain. That’s my house. I was just going home. I’m an introvert. I’m just different. That’s all. I’m so sorry. I have no gun. I don’t do that stuff. I don’t do any fighting. Why are you attacking me? I don’t even kill flies! I don’t eat meat! But I don’t judge people, I don’t judge people who do eat meat. Forgive me. All I was trying to do was become better. I will do it. I will do anything. Sacrifice my identity, I’ll do it. You all are phenomenal. You are beautiful and I love you. Try to forgive me. I’m a mood Gemini. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Ow, that really hurt. You are all very strong. Teamwork makes the dream work. Oh, I’m sorry I wasn’t trying to do that. I just can’t breathe correctly.” I found myself heartbroken, incensed, and irritated once again.
I then saw the video of a lady screaming at a Starbucks employee in California because he asked her to wear a mask and another lady going ballistic on a Trader Joe’s employee for the same reason. All of these situations involved young people all under 25 who were being mistreated by those who obviously are older and should know better. I found myself furious. I found myself questioning God for allowing this behavior. And in that moment, I realized that love allows you to continue giving. Giving us chances to get it right. How God’s heart must be broken to see those that He’s created continuing to abuse others created in His image? And no matter how technologically advanced we’ve become, we are no different than Cain and Abel. The blood of more Abel’s continues to cry out from the soil. (Genesis 4) We have become tone deaf to the sounds of violence and to God’s voice.
I was reminded of the scripture in Genesis that captures a conversation between God and Abraham. We know that God experiences anger, that God sees the actions of humanity, and hears the cries of those that are treated poorly. Several things. We do know that God’s love is all-encompassing. God sacrificed His son for us which is the ultimate expression of reconciling us to Him. This is Atonement. Maybe what’s keeping the world from completely imploding on itself are those 10, 50, or more who are righteous, those who are upright in 2020. Is that you? Righteousness is not perfection. But are you one of the folks that God counts on to live in peace with others, that intercedes, that seeks justice and speaks truth? Are you exhibiting God’s love in a time when love is cold even to those who don’t deserve it? Is your heart broken by the things that break God’s heart?
If not, it’s time for some introspection. As much as I’m angry at the world, it’s time for me to look inward and begin to reflect and strive to be one of those that God finds when He is seeking for those who truly love Him. One of the most powerful prayers I’ve ever prayed was the prayer by Bob Pearce, the founder of World Vision. It’s time we all pray this: “Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God,” So we know God’s heart. How’s your heart? And are you one of the 10 (metaphorically) that’s left who can be counted on?
Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the Founder and CEO of Soulstice Consultancy, specializing as a Partnership Broker and Leadership Expert for companies and organizations to thrive with measurable and meaningful impact. She also is the VP of Community Affairs and Strategic Alliances for the State Fair of Texas.