Thanks to all of you who have been willing to honestly think about what a follower of Christ brings to an issue as tragic as the death of Trayvon, and as controversial as the law’s reaction to George.
In addition to appreciating so much of what you have already said, here’s where I am.
Seems to me that it’s important to remember that followers of Christ have every reason to see the value of a true story. Our faith, hope, and love are rooted in the truth of the story of human injustice, overridden by God’s own answer for ultimate justice and mercy.
In this true story we have the death of an innocent man, and the misuse and manipulation of due process. Yet before his death, Jesus had occasion to say “Give to Caesar, what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to him” (Matt 22:21). He was responding to the question of taxes. But the implications are broader.
Followers of Jesus, therefore know that what belongs to Caesar is an often misused, yet necessary authority. What belongs to God is a knowledge of all truth, even to the motives of our heart, and the right to ultimately hold all of us accountable.
In the middle of all of this, our Teacher made it clear that we owe one another love (Rom 13:8). Even the lowly and now obsolete US penny reminds us of what we owe God.
An inspired apostle Paul tells us that love is first of all patient and kind and does not envy or boast (1Cor 13:4). This means that if we are following Christ we have access to a spirit and grace that does not claim more than we know (doesn’t boast); or more than what God has given us (doesn’t envy); but does show consideration for one another (is kind); while not getting ahead of due process (is patient).
As this plays out, seems that followers of Jesus also have reason to keep reminding ourselves to focus on our own hearts before trying to imagine the motives of others (Luke 6:42).
My hunch is that when we are giving priority to our own thoughts and motives, we will be more inclined to be patient with the understandable anger and frustration of those who know that those they love have been routinely, or at least often, deprived of both justice and mercy. At the same time those who feel deprived of justice have no better answer than to give Caesar a chance, while believing that God is watching (Rom 12:17-19).
This obviously isn’t the whole picture. But please help me to test these thoughts as together we try to determine what a follower of Christ brings to the tragic story of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.