America has been talking non-stop about what happened in Ferguson. This week the issue hit home in my heart. I want to make this clear – I do not claim to know everything and this post is not focusing on all the details of the events. This post is focusing on God’s sons, and one particular son who opened my eyes.
This semester I started working as a tutor. I meet with many students each week, but one student has impacted me the most. In order to keep him anonymous, I’m going to call him J. J is one of the happiest boys I tutor. He is full of life, passion, and perseverance.
J comes from a broken home and an unsafe city where shootings occur very often. God gave J the gift of football and this gift got him out of his hometown and into a university. J told me that the transition to college was very hard. Before college, J had never used a computer, and now he was expected to write papers and take online quizzes. J has constantly been told he is lazy and dumb, but J is smarter than he’ll ever know. When he gets an answer right in tutoring, a huge smile fills his face. In one of our tutor sessions, I told him, “You know J, you are smart.” I saw a smile wanting to break through, but he didn’t believe me. He replied, “But look at my grades. Those aren’t A’s.” I encouraged him and told him how in only one month he had pulled up F’s to C’s and B’s. I said, “J, college is different and harder than high school. Look at how far you have come. You are smart, and I am proud of you.” J smiled a big smile this time.
J has a beautiful smile. His smile made me think about how J was made in God’s image. His smile is God’s smile. His hands are God’s hands. God gifted his hands with the ability to be great at football in order to bring him out of his hometown. God could have used football to save his life. My mind immediately thought of Ferguson. That could have been J.
Jefferson Bethke, video below, states, “(his future son) is 21 times less likely to be killed by a police officer. Now think about that. That means that 21 young black kids would have to get killed by a police officer before it’s even likely on average that my son as a white male in America would get killed.”
These statistics are heartbreaking.
J could have been shot.
Before this week, I dehumanized the issue. Now, I see the issue in J’s face. My new friend. God’s son. J is a person with a story. A really sad story filled with the losses of many loved ones, including a relative who was shot. What if J gets shot? My heart would break.
God, Protect your sons. No matter what color they are – they are still your sons. They have your smile, just like J does. They have been through so much. Protect them. Keep them safe in your hands. Thank you for J. Thank you that he is your son.
“for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.” -Galatians 3:26
And friends, it is easy to think this situation does not affect you, but it does. These are our brothers, our sons, and our friends. Pray for their safety. Pray for this world. Pray that Jesus’ name would be known.
Debraat (8 years ago)
Thank you for sharing the story of J. A reminder we are all God’s children.