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Sojourn Blog

My heart is heavy.

Posted by Justin Pearson on

The last few weeks have been challenging for our world and country. But the last few days have felt especially hard. I’ve been praying and processing. Wondering what to say and how to say it. I’m not sure I’ve figured that out yet, so bear with me for a longer note.

On Thursday we were confronted once again with something that, if we are honest, we like to ignore—blatant racism that resulted in murder in the form of a modern-day lynching of Ahmaud Arbery. A man who was simply out in his neighborhood getting some exercise. I won’t recount the gut wrenching details as you’ve likely already seen, read, or heard them.

The murder itself is overwhelming, but what makes it even more maddening is that it happened 2.5 months ago and the men who committed it were just charged after a video was leaked to the public.

There are multiple levels of tragedy in the death of Ahmaud Arbery. But the one we can’t ignore is that things like this happen all of the time in our country.

Racism is not a political construct or a figment of the imagination. It did not end in 1964. It is alive and well. And for our friends, family, brothers, sisters, and fellow Americans with darker complexion it is exhausting and crushing.

We follow a Resurrected King who, let us not forget, is not white nor American. And as Kingdom people we cannot ignore injustice in any form. We must seek to bring Kingdom influence by speaking out against racism, calling it what it is (evil), and pleading for justice now for all image bearers of God from the womb to the tomb.

This side of heaven justice will not be perfect and sin will remain, but we believe and can rest in the reality that real justice will come when our King comes again.

That news was sickening enough. Then I found out yesterday that Darrin Patrick, a pastor and leader in the church who has impacted me in my ministry, died yesterday of an apparent suicide.

I don’t know the details or circumstances. I don’t know what led him to this place. I do know that the last few years have been especially trying for him and his family as a result of his own confessed sin and the sin of others against him. I do know that ministry is hard and heavy. I do know that life is hard.

Racism and human brokenness are the direct result of the human depravity and sin. It is wearying and makes me so sad.

But what gives me some semblance of peace, what I am so thankful for is that I can cry out to my God with real emotions and questions and frustrations. To my Savior who suffered hate, ridicule, loss, betrayal, abandonment, and death.

I can come to him about these two awful situations or the coronavirus and its effects or my own personal struggles. And so can you.

Right now we may be physically apart, but we are on this journey of life together as sojourners in a place that is not our home. May we be quick to listen well to one another, to genuinely ask “how are you?”, to lament together and rejoice together, to forgive and encourage one another, to point each other to our Risen Savior who has come and will come again to make all things new.

Together, may we collectively cry out: “How long O Lord?” and “Come Lord Jesus.”

I love you Sojourn Church.

.grace and peace.
​​​​​​​Justin

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