“I can’t breathe.”
One man on the ground, a knee on his neck. But his final words have become symbolic of generation after generation of injustice and inequality. The simple phrase somehow gives voice to unutterable anguish, grief, anger, and despair.
Confronted by such pain, where is hope? What is the path forward?
I affirm and support and pray for every man, woman, and child who has borne the burden of racism, and for the peaceful protesters across this country. But what is troubling is that protests have taken place before time and again – yet George Floyd was killed in broad daylight. What needs to happen for the protests today to have a lasting effect for every tomorrow?
Change – true change – can happen only by God’s Spirit. The Greek word for “spirit” is “pneuma,” which can also be translated “breath.”
Think of it ... breath.
When we cannot breathe, we need a breath.
As a society wracked by sin, we need the Spirit.
What do we know about the Spirit?
“It is the Spirit who gives life.” (John 6:63)
“When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth.” (John 16:13)
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” (Acts 1:8)
“The mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6)
“To each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:7)
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Corinthians 3:17)
“Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Doesn’t this describe what we long for, hope for, protest for, and strive for?
The Spirit is the breath we need.