TruthfullyTuesday
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TruthfullyTuesday

I urge you my brothers and sisters…

it’s been a heavy week, to say the least.
ever since the horrible murder of George Floyd, there’s been a lot on my mind i can’t shake.
i’ve laid in bed at night, pretending to sleep but plagued with my thoughts.

although i didn’t have them all together i chose not to remain silent.
i’ve spoken out, both personally and publicly, supporting my black brothers and sisters.
i’ve called and texted some of my best friends…apologizing and just letting them know, i’m here.
i participated in my first protest, which was a humbling and eye opening experience.
one i will never forget.

and here is where i find myself today,
ready to speak up…not with all of the answers…not even with all that needs to be said.
but i hope my more collected thoughts will help you on your journey to stand up for the truth.
because only the truth that will set us free.

Shirien Damra’s illustration paying tribute to George Floyd. Shirien.Creates / Instagram

as i survey the landscape of today, i see a problem.
obviously more than one problem, i’m sure, but the first i’d like to address is the lack of responsibility we share with all problems.

as a kid, i was so afraid of getting in trouble.
i had strict parents who loved me and would punish me very hard.
why? because they wanted me to learn how to accept the consequences for my actions in hopes one day i’ll be old enough to choose a correct action over an incorrect one.
they hoped one day, i’d be responsible enough to make my own decisions in a healthy way.

so getting in trouble was a scary thing.
it would mean that i was RESPONSIBLE for a wrongdoing.
it would mean something was MY fault.
this made me run away from responsibility for some time.

you know for being such a driven person, i’m pretty lack-luster sometimes when it comes to the small stuff.
for instance, my entire closet is full of dirty clothes.
this pandemic has stopped me from going to the laundromat, and i’m just letting the pile get bigger and bigger.
i haven’t taken care of my car like i should…in the last 3 months there are scrapes and unaddressed problems with it i’ve just ALLOWED.
i have a tire that keeps losing air. it never goes all the way flat, but it has a tiny leak that leaves it just under-inflated.
i haven’t got it looked at.
i haven’t replaced it.
it doesn’t take a genius to see as these issues go unaddressed in the near future i’ll have a series of larger problems.
the tiny problems will turn into something bigger. it’s inevitable.

and it’s opened my eyes to the painful truth;
humanity has learned to tolerate broken things until it inconveniences us enough to do something about it.
in other words, we won’t step in and fix something until it’s broken all the way.

you’ve heard, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”
and while that saying can apply to many things, it is dangerous when applied to society.

if it isn’t broke….for WHO?

Miami Protest by ME (@gregjburgess)

because if it may, as a white person, i’ve ignored the problem for far too long.
i ignored it because it never inconvenienced me.

in light of not only George Floyd’s senseless murder, but all of the other murders before him,
all of the discrimination and racism for generations and generations,
i can no longer look at our society the same way.
i have to see it for what it is.

broken.

any God-loving, people-loving, red-blooded human can look upon what’s happening today and see BROKENNESS.

and if you can’t see that it’s broken, then you’re part of the problem.
I’M part of the problem.
because for too long i told my friends “i don’t see color,”
when in reality all they really needed was for someone, anyone and EVERYONE to actually SEE THIER COLOR.

so today,
i apologize.
i’ve ignored my responsibility on this issue in hopes it would take care of itself.
today, i take responsibility for MY actions.
and i say, I’M SORRY for being part of the problem.
i see you.
i hear you.
and i’m ready to stand WITH YOU.

and maybe you’re reading this and you think to yourself,
“well racism has been around forever and it’s not MY FAULT that it exists”
and you’re right…it’s not YOUR FAULT.

but just because it’s not YOUR FAULT doesn’t make it NOT YOUR PROBLEM.

no matter what color you see or how you see it, the truth is,
racism is real.
racism is sin.
and it will continue to exist until we do something to stop it.

my pastor puts it best: “It might not be YOUR fault, but it is ALL of OUR problem”

We’re way past INCONVENIENCE and we’ve arrived at the painful doors of INJUSTICE.

for those of you who are being inconvenienced by protests and rioters,
judging them,
calling them disgraceful;
have you even stopped to ask yourself why you aren’t out there with them?
i think you’d be surprised at your own answer.
i think you might need to pray and seek forgiveness for what your answer was.

Miami Protest by ME (@gregjburgess)

you may not be a racist, but you cannot sit there and deny that racism is still an issue.
it never went away…it just wasn’t YOUR issue.
it wasn’t painful enough for you to be inconvenienced by it.

it was a hangnail. a cold sore.
a splinter in the bottom of your foot.

well guess what…
that tiny cut has caused an infection deeply seeded in the hearts of man.

and i’m not going to sit here and watch another video of a black man or black woman become a hashtag in order to see change to happen.
we don’t need another Ahmaud Arbery.
we don’t need another George Floyd.

WHAT IF IT WAS YOU?
WHAT IF IT WAS YOUR BEST FRIEND?
WHAT IF IT WAS YOUR SON?

racism is the cancer of our society,
slowing killing us for years but we ignored it because we weren’t directly affected by it.

well I’M SICK OF IT.
white people, I’M SICK OF IT.

we have sat idly by as black men and black women living in their own FREE country are fighting for their very breath.

if i can’t breathe, you can’t either.

it’s time to get your priorities in check.

if taking a knee during the national anthem is more offensive to you than taking a knee on a black man’s neck, then you’re part of the problem.
if rioting and looting is more offensive to you than a public execution of a black man or black woman, then you’re part of the problem.

i can’t believe there are people in this world more outraged by the effect than the cause.

your privilege has blinded you from the truth.
your privilege has allowed you to ignore what was there the whole time.
and now, you can’t ignore it any longer.
it’s stopping your traffic.
it’s tearing down your stores.
it’s setting your buildings on fire.
it’s taking over your social media feed.

i mean we finally found something more important than the world-wide crisis of COVID-19.
COVID-19 is over.
it pales in comparison to the plague of racism we’ve been fighting for hundreds of years.
and it’s time we finally find a cure.

when words no longer work, actions must take their place.
what actions will you take?

I’M NOT URGING YOU TO RIOT AND LOOT THE STREETS.
I’M URGING YOU TO RIOT AND LOOT AGAINST YOUR OWN HEART.

rid yourself of prejudice and hatred.
rid yourself of pride and selfishness.
rid yourself of the sin of racism.

what did Jesus do?
Jesus rid himself of his privilege.

he became obedient to the human condition.
obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

it’s time to follow Jesus to the cross.

open your heart to those who are different from you.
choose to love one another, as Christ loves them.
educate yourselves.
step outside of your own situation and learn to empathize with those who are different than you.

when words are not enough
it will take action.
it will take love
it will take the people of God to stand firm.

Photo by Nieko Randazzo

Christianity was never about popularity.
Jesus already died to set us free.
i’m hoping and praying no one else has to die for our world to become a better place.

maybe today it will become just a little better because of you.
maybe today your love will hold no bounds.
maybe today you can change one life…your own.

i’m ready to stand.
i’m ready to fight.
i’m ready to let my voice be heard.
i’m ready to love.

and i urge you to do the same.

-gb

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Greg Burgess

Greg Burgess

Greg is a singer/songwriter, author and content producer who lives in Miami, FL.