A Call to Prayer for Justice, Healing, and Racial Reconciliation from our President & CEO
Together we mourn the tragic and racially motivated killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless others whose lives have been violently taken. As Americans, we are confronted by the painful reality that liberty and justice for all remains a distant vision for people of color in our country.
Personally, I am filled with grief by the decades of losses of our African American brothers and sisters. I’m traumatized because when I see George’s face pinned under the knee of a white policeman, I see the face of my husband Marcel. When I listen to how Ahmaud Arbery was gunned down during a run, I imagine my son Luke. Like many African American homes and interracial families like our own, we are trying to process our pain as we come to grips with a society that accepts this level of violent and racist oppression. We are filled with fear for our loved ones.
The events of these past several weeks have brought us to our feet and our knees. The streets are filled with those crying for justice and for those of us who follow Christ, we are on our knees crying out for justice too, and healing, peace and reconciliation.
Racial injustice is antithetical to our faith as Jesus sought to reconcile us to God and to one another. We at Medical Teams International strongly oppose race-based oppression, injustice, and violence of any kind and stand in solidarity with oppressed and marginalized communities here in the U.S. and around the globe. Our calling charges us to “dare to love like Jesus” to bring wholeness and restoration to a broken world. To do this, it must start with us – both as individuals and as an organization. I am committed to making sure this is lived out at Medical Teams. It is of utmost importance to me that we continually create a culture of diversity, inclusion and unity for all staff.
Racial disparity shows up in many different forms and as we continue to fight COVID-19, we see that pandemics do not discriminate, but societies do. COVID-19 is killing three times more African Americans and minorities than white people in America. This must end. It is time for our generation to be a part of the solution- to bring lasting equity for all.
This week we designated a day of fasting and lament, to release our sorrow and make space for the Father to speak to us, corporately and individually. Below is a lament I wrote and shared during this time of reflection. Please join with me in prayer for unity, for healing, and to end all forms of oppression.
Martha Holley Newsome
Our Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit – three in one,
We need you in this time of trauma, pain, anger, and loss.
We need the Father who gets off the porch and runs to all who are in deep pain, marginalized, oppressed.
We need you to run to all of us as a nation as we heave with grief.
We need your embrace.
We need the Son who experienced torture, oppression, and was murdered for us, to save us.
He who knows what it feels like to have everyone run away, to be abandoned and alone.
Holy Spirit, we need your calming comfort in our nation. The Holy Spirit who speaks peace.
The Spirit who hovered over the waters when the world was made.
The Spirit who intercedes when we have no words.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit we’ve had enough!
Too many African American lives have been sacrificed in our country to fuel our greed, our power, and privilege as white people.
Too much damage has been done and there’s been no reparation, there’s been no change.
Our lynching has become more sophisticated with guns instead of ropes, institutionalized in our policies, courts, churches, neighbors, and police.
Enough O Lord – Our Black and Brown friends cannot be sacrificed on the altar of complacency any longer.
We cannot allow this insidious disease to eat away at the fabric of our souls and society.
This cancer must be stopped before the spread of it kills all of us.
Like Lady MacBeth we cry “Out, damned spot”
But the spot has taken over our body,
And like Lady MacBeth we all have blood on our hands, we are all guilty.
Therefore, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
We are on bended knee
We are in ashes and sackcloth
To ask for your forgiveness once again.
But may it be, dear God – three in one
That this time we seek true repentance
That our hearts would be changed
That our prayers would give way to reparation
That you would guide us to listen, to hear, to understand the decades of injustice and oppression
That we would understand what overt and covert oppression has done to generations of African Americans in our country.
How it has been absorbed in their psyches, in their bodies, in their families and communities.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit we ask that from forgiveness, repentance, reparation,
would come true reconciliation – the kind that is costly and strong.
Reconciliation that causes true change and, finally, action to create a society
where all men and women are truly equal, truly valued, accepted, seen, and affirmed.
A society that replaces fear with embracing difference,
With seeing the gift our brothers and sisters of color bring.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit This is our dream, this is our cry.
We know we are bankrupt we can’t even try
Yet you dear God – are the only one in three
Who can rescue us from this place.
We remember that you have made us beautiful in your image
We remember your faithfulness to all of us in the wilderness
We remember your promised power, your rescue, your healing –
When your people pray.
We wait for you Lord
We enter your presence
We accept your healing embrace
We know Aslan is on the move,
That only your love can conquer this darkness.
We are with you dear God
We surrender our arms
to let you lead this battle
And we know You will win!
In name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen
Join us in prayer and fasting here.