Updated: Jun 9, 2020
by Dr. Dave Coryell; C.E. USA - Executive Director, World C.E. - General Secretary
I often write blogs that have steps to take or insights for people to incorporate into their lives. Today I’m sharing four steps that Dave Coryell is taking. You can join me if you desire, but these insights are about me. First, let me give you the backstory.
The murder of George Floyd has compelled our nation to confront our deep cultural wounds. News from the last several days has left me saddened, mourning, and confused as these wounds are ripped open in new and painful ways. This event and the ensuing demonstrations have also left me in a place of self-examination.
I rose to start my day in the small town of Ephrata, Pennsylvania, far away from the violence and chaos being experienced in cities like Lancaster, PA (the closest city to my home) and in other places across the country. I was tempted to read the headlines this morning and say that this is not my problem. My agenda is filled with the “important” things God has for me to do. Certain moments, however, require us to hit pause. I stopped and began to pray asking God to forgive me for the angst and division we feel in our culture. I said, “God, guide me toward thinking and living in the way that Micah 6:8 directs - seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with my God.”
By God’s grace, I serve with an organization called Christian Endeavor that is committed to intentional NextGen discipleship. Essentially, C.E. empowers young people across ethnic and national boundaries to stand upon God’s Word and change the world for His glory. I communicate regularly with and serve alongside people from all the world’s populated continents. I have stood on the soil of forty different countries, as well as numerous major US cities, to champion God’s work. I could post pictures of me standing with people I know deeply and love from a list of different ethnic backgrounds. Without challenge, I could produce a list of humbling insights I have gained from cultures outside my comfortable U.S. bubble. It would be easy for me to justify that I am “OK” and produce testimony from those who know me and serve closely with me that I have tried to be a loving and godly person.
Reality, I am not OK! I have not done enough. I read the words of Ezekiel 34 as God comforts Israel saying that He will be their great shepherd while he condemns their leaders that “have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured (and) have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost.” I have not stood up for the oppressed nearly enough. My prayers have not gone deep enough asking for healing and reconciliation. I am not OK, our country is not OK. We need to hit the pause button. As we do, I am committing to take four steps.
The pain in the US culture is devastating. I am grieving and will continue to grieve what happened to George Floyd and what continues to happen when people of color are oppressed.
I have gained numerous insights from people that have shared their insights, pointed out scripture passages speaking to justice issues, or simply provided reflection questions that allow a deeper connection to exist between God’s ways and cultural living. I need to keep reading, asking questions, and actively listen to the responses to grow in my understanding.
It begins with me. God, I repent. God, change my heart. God, forgive me for not doing more. Then it moves beyond me. God, bring reconciliation. God, help an attitude of love to pervade not only our society in the U.S. but in societies around the world.
As God heals the brokenness in my own heart, He will then bring me to a place where I can act. I do not consider this blog an action. I consider this a reflection. My actions will be steps God guides me toward to think about and pray for others, stand in the gap for others, and champion the cause for the rights of others.
I do not have all this figured out, but I will continue to hit the pause button and ask God to show me the way as I Mourn, Learn, Pray and Act to the best of my ability for His glory.