For the Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

 Job 33:4 (NLT)

Words. Internet words. words on a Chiron. Words on social media. Words scribbled on businesses, walls, windows, monuments, signs. The TV images scream out words. Most are words of anger, disappointment, frustration, or hate. I want to cover my ears but I know I must listen because these words are coming from the depths of souls wounded and bleeding.

Racism has been around my whole life but it didn’t enter my world and I even lived in a town next door to Compton. I grew up with white privilege and didn’t know what that meant. I listen to the stories of mamas instructing their black sons how to act, walk, and respond to police — things I never had to teach my son. I didn’t worry every time he left the house that he wouldn’t return.

However, now we are all aware of the despicable acts perpetrated on our brothers and sisters of color.

Last Sunday was Pentecost Sunday…fifty days after Easter. As the images of raging fire engulfing whole neighborhoods played on screens, I’m reminded of the description of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit fulfilling the promise of Jesus that He would send a comforter to his disciples:

Suddenly a noise like a strong, blowing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw something like flames of fire that were separated and stood over each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak different languages by the power the Holy Spirit was giving them. Acts 2:2-4 (NCV)

The powerful wind and flames of fire astonished those that had been waiting as the Holy Spirit filled them. And with it came new abilities to spread the Good News in a language that that could be understood by all who had arrived from towns all over Israel for the Feast of Firstfruits. It’s this Holy Spirit which breathes new life into a believer in Jesus Christ and gives us power to live each day to serve and to love.

It’s time for change. It has been too long. Our black brothers and sisters are beat down. We can lament, listen, and learn from them. We can’t do it in our own strength but we can with the power of the breath of God. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen if we decide to do it, look for opportunities to speak up and denounce racism, train our children to be colorblind, and see each person as a child of God with all options available. Help them to breathe again.

Take a breath for George Floyd.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
fill me with life anew,
that I may love the way you love,
and do what you would do.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
until my heart is pure,
until my will is one with yours,
to do and to endure.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
so shall I never die,
but live with you the perfect life
for all eternity.