Opinion: Why I'm not mad
Sunday morning, July 14, 2013, was sunny, warm and quiet. As I drove to church with the radio off, I replayed in my mind the words of the jury foreman from the George Zimmerman trial. “We the jury find the defendant not guilty on all counts.”
It was over. At least the trial wasover. The post trial reaction was just beginning and my mind was cluttered and crowded with a multitude of emotions ranging from anger to disbelief to numbness. Preaching is difficult enough without being distracted so I knew this day was going to be a real challenge.
There was an air of tension in the sanctuary that Sunday morning. Polite smiles and pleasantries were exchanged but beneath the surface, people were mad and disappointed about what happened in Sanford, Fla.
Our worship leader for the morning asked in hushed tone, “Did you hear the verdict?” I nodded my head. She said, “Shame isn’t it.” I nodded again and she whispered, “God knows what He’s doing,” as she closed the door.
A feeling of warmth came over me. Something fell on me that brought a sense of peace and joy. God reminded me that in this and every complex situation, He knows what He is doing. The anger and numbness was replaced by confidence. As I stood before an audience full of hurt people. I explained to them why I’m not mad about the Zimmerman verdict.
I’m not mad because God is still in charge of the entire universe. When there is an injustice perpetrated against His people, God rights the wrong, in the fullness of time. Fifty years after the magnificent March on Washington for Jobs and Justice, our nation is experiencing a second “Summer of Our Discontent.”
I’m sorry that Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton lost their precious son to gun violence. I’m disappointed that George Zimmerman will serve no time in jail for killing a kid, but I’m not mad. Trayvon’s death was not in vain. It has brought to the forefront the profiling, injustice and disenfranchisement so many black and brown men face daily in America.
Sickness and disease cannot be eradicated until it is exposed. Emmett Till’s brutal and barbaric murder was the catalyst for a national conversation on civil rights in America. Medgar Evers’ assassination triggered masses of people from all over the nation to converge on Mississippi and demand voting rights for black Americans. Dr. King’s tragic death pushed the nation into the reality of a racially divided union.
I’m not mad, because you shall reap what you sow. I’m not mad because God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. I’m not mad because I’ve decided not to lean on my own understanding. I’m not mad because, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” I’m not mad because, “It is expedient that one man should die for the people and that the whole nation perish not.”
I’m rejoicing because, “What the enemy meant for evil, God meant it for good to bring it to pass to save much people alive.”
Dr. George B. Jackson serves as the pastor of Citadel Ministries in Thomasville. He is author of “Memoirs of a Gospel Preacher: Tears of a Clown.”