At this point in the semester, a few months after the protests have died down and now also in the wake of the Regional BCM Conference (which was more than a month ago), you and your friends might have turned away from the racial injustices that have arisen in your Fellowships, on your campus, or even in our country. Maybe, if you’re Black, you are weary of the energy you’ve expended over the past few months to be heard on campus and instead just want to focus on studying. Or, if you or your friends are non-black, perhaps all of this talk about black lives mattering has lost its glitz and glam because there is no huge protest happening on campus or in your city.
Well, God doesn’t take a day off from the racial injustices that we are experiencing, even if the news cycle does. If issues related to what was happening earlier this year remain problems for you, regardless of your ethnic identity, I encourage you to continue seeking justice for yourself and others. If you’re still feeling neglected in class by professors or are having issues with financial aid, continue to raise those issues with the appropriate school administrators who can address the problem. Also, do not forget that all the problems we see have spiritual dimensions to them. God wants us to seek Him and ask Him to restore and provide for us (Isaiah 55) as we seek the justice for those oppressed and hurting (including ourselves).
If you’re crying out right now for justice and the right reign of God to come in your life but are being met by a grand silence from those who could help, know that the absence of response is not indicative of God’s view towards racial justice but rather of the muting effects of sin. Sin stunts people’s ability to respond to injustice and mutes the voices of those who need to be heard (Isaiah 58). And yet, we see in the life of Jesus how God gives good news to the poor even in the midst of a fairly strong grand silence (Luke 4).
Praise God that He heard the cries of Black people of the Diaspora even in the midst of grand silences! God has sustained and empowered black people and non-Black people to stand up for what is right and push back systems that distort the dignity, beauty, and purpose of Black people, even if the history books or news cycles didn’t catch it. Be encouraged that God is on the move even when movements around you appear to be at a standstill.
InterVarsity New England, in response to this God, is committed to establishing and developing communities that respond to the ongoing, concrete issues that are affecting Black students all over campus. It is critical for the Fellowships to serve as a place where all students develop a sharper eye for what needs to be done and then are trained in how to do so. This is part of the demand of the Gospel of Jesus.
I look forward to hearing more stories about how Fellowships continue to care for and empower Black women and men as the Gospel goes forth amongst black folk on campuses throughout New England. Praise God for the hope of Christ in the midst of grand silence.
By, Julian Reid, New England Regional BCM Coordinator
Black Campus Ministries