This was written this morning by a very dear friend, Pastor Linda Salzman, Senior Pastor of Lions Heart Ministies in Virginia Beach, VA. Her comments reflect the way many of us are feeling today.
“My heart is so heavy this morning. So full of sadness. Like many others, I couldn’t turn the TV off last night. Over and over I watched and heard the shots ring out, heard the screaming and saw those that had nothing to do with a situation beyond their control, lose their lives.
Earlier in the day, as I was reading about and hearing again about the senseless killing of yet another black man, the second in as many days, I could not control the flow of tears and the anguish in my heart.
As I heard the stories of how they lost their lives, and the families and friends they left behind, as I read about what great men they were, the feeling of helplessness in me was overwhelming.
Yet another tragedy of innocent lives lost.
What made that policeman pull the trigger? Not just in the shootings the last few days, but in all those that have been without cause?
Fear. Fear of another human being because ‘their skin is black and mine is white so that must make them my enemy.’ Senseless fear. Fear of ‘what if it happens to me?’ The sad truth is no matter what color a person’s skin is, people are killed without reason everyday.
I can’t imagine what it must be like in today’s society to be on the police force or to have a family member who is. And not because of skin color, but because of the state the world is in. Does that make the decisions of some police officers ok? Absolutely not. It’s horrific.
What made those gunmen take innocent lives away from those police officers who were only trying to protect other lives?
Hatred and retaliation. An eye for an eye.The feeling of ‘I must take this in my own hands.’
More innocent families have lost loved ones. Yet more children have lost fathers.
Fear and Hatred are vicious cycles.
The real enemy must be identified.
It’s not that one person’s skin is black and the other is white.
As long as we keep seeing it that way, how can it change?
The enemy of our souls has a strategy. Let them turn on each other in fear and hatred and kill one another, then let the retaliation start and more killings will happen.
Let the justice system not do its job.
It’s a horrible cycle that will continue over and over until we battle it the only way it will ever be won; In our faces before God crying out to him to heal our land!
The word of God tells us, ‘If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and heal their land.’
We must fight with the right weapons if we are ever to win this war.
My heart breaks for the senseless killings that continue to happen.
I’m praying for the families, and I keep seeing the images that keep replaying over and over.
To ALL my brothers and sisters, my love and prayers are with you and my deepest sympathy in all the carnage and the loss of lives.
I continue to press in and pray for God to heal our land. The land inside of us…Our hearts.
Unity brings power. Disunity brings powerlessness.
My prayer is that we will begin to take the battle to the only battlefield on which it can ever be won.”
Pastor Linda Salzman, July 8, 2016
May the hearts of so many be softened and the violence ended once and for all.