June 15, 2020
By Fadi Kamel
There was a brown family who migrated from the Middle East to the United States. Their voyage took place 21 years ago and since then, this family’s color pallet has grown to white, black and blue.
Hi everyone, this is Fadi and this white, brown, black and blue family is mine. I’m a middle eastern man who married a white woman; we have a half-black niece and a brother who wears a blue uniform. During this chaotic time, Jillian and I found ourselves in pain because each hold a piece of our hearts. Jillian comes from a white family who has shown me so much love and acceptance. We love our niece as if she were our own daughter. And our brother not only served in Iraq with the Marines but now finds himself under hostile settings as he tries his best to serve and protect his community as a policeman. The same colors that make up my family find themselves in a clash in society today.
As I ponder over the past weeks, I admittedly feel unqualified to speak about race and our current situation. I have experienced hurt born out of racial generalizations, but I will not even try to compare that to the hurt and sufferings witnessed by our black brothers and sisters.
What I do know is that staying quiet and disqualifying myself because I feel under qualified doesn’t align with my faith. I’m reminded that the Bible is full of unqualified men and women working for God and speaking His truth. So here I am… an unqualified brown man with a white, black and blue family desiring to communicate God’s truth amidst the chaos of todays society.
As I try to find the appropriate words to articulate my thoughts and emotions, I figured I’d share some Gospel truth with you. The first scripture comes from 1 Samuel 16:7,
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’”
I know nothing about George Floyd’s life and who he was in this world. But I do know that he was a man with a heart. A heart that bled the same color as yours and mine and more importantly a heart that bled the same color as Jesus’ blood that was shed for us all. When Jesus looked at George, He did not see a tall black man. He saw heart that was filled with fear, pain, agony, regret, doubt, faith, joy, peace, love and all the emotions we each experience throughout our lives. Jesus saw a man who He died and reconciled for. I have no say in systematic changes, but I hope and pray that one day all authority who hold power are trained to view everyone from the inside, the heart, rather than the outside, the body.
The other scripture that I found myself ponder on comes from Galatians 3:26-29,
“for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”
This truth is only found in Jesus and not in any economic or systematic policies. In Christ, we don’t have to wrestle with race, gender or societal status for we are all one in Christ. And in Him, we are heirs to His kingdom. A kingdom with a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, that will stand before the throne and before the Lamb shouting, “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the lamb.” Revelation 7:10 Until that day comes to fruition, I recognize that we will face opposition to this promise. My family has experienced chatter and public pressure firsthand because of my half-black five-year-old niece. Jillian and I have witnessed stereotypes babble about a white woman marrying an Arabic man. These are minor compared to what people of color face daily. But until the day we are reunited with our LORD, we will walk through the valley of racial tension, and we will not fear for our Shepard, His rod and staff protect us.
Finally, the last scripture I want to share with you comes from Ephesians 6:12,
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Amidst the tension and chaos we must remember who the enemy is. The true enemy is a spiritual force of evil that is fanning the flame of chaos. This spirit lies within us and must first be exposed to the light of Christ. It begins with repentance. Until we fix our heart, we can’t fix our homes which means we can‘t fix our communities. For the New Testament writer Paul writes,
“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” Romans 7:24-25
For we all have sinned and turned away from valuing each other by turning away from God. Who will save us from our brokenness? Who will save us from our evil heart? This can only be done by the blood of Jesus Christ. The red blood of Jesus that was shed for our white, brown, black and blue (and every color in between) humanity.