His name is Ahmaud Arbery.

I left work early the other day. I got home, laced up my tennis shoes, and went out for a quick 3-mile run. When I returned, I went straight to preparing dinner.

Ahmaud Arbery put on his tennis shoes and left for a run. He never returned home.

I am a white male. I have never had to worry about going outside to workout. I have never been overly concerned when getting pulled over for speeding or having a headlight out. The fact that there are people out there who are not provided with the same courtesy is something that really disturbs me. I get that I do not know what it is like to live as a black man in America, but I do know that something needs to change.

Ahmaud Arbery was a 25-year-old black man who was out for a run in the middle of the afternoon in a neighborhood in Georgia. Unfortunately, Ahmaud never returned home from his run. Instead, he was shot down in the middle of the street. This, sadly, is only one of many stories like this.

Typically, I am not one who jumps in the middle of social discussion. I have generally kept my opinions to myself. Social media has addressed issues of ethical and moral questions over the last several years (things like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter). But I’m tired. Sometimes silence itself is exhausting. We should all be tired waiting for something to change. I am tired of the Church (every believer who claims Jesus as Lord) not speaking up for every life that walks on this earth.

If you are a follower of Jesus, then you know that every person is created in the image of God – every single one of us. That is literally in the first chapter of the first book of the Bible! Genesis 1:27 says,

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

With this in mind, why does prejudice still exist? How can we condone prejudice or racism? Why is it you are assuming the black man running down your street is up to something evil? And even if he was, what gives us the right to take his life from him?

You cannot claim to be Pro-Life if you are not Pro every life. You cannot claim that babies in the womb are children but be willing to kill someone on death row. You cannot claim that babies in the womb are life and then be okay with the death of a black man while he was out on his afternoon run. That is not how this works. If you are Pro Life, be Pro Life! Care for everyone!

James 2:15-17 says,

“If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

We cannot just say go and be well and proceed to do nothing to help. This scripture can go on and be used in the same context of those who are oppressed. If we would say go and don’t be oppressed any more but we have no action that is helping to end the oppression, then how is it that we are helping them?

Believer, it is time to act. Stop thinking that someone else will take care of these issues. Set an example, be the change you want to see in this world and go out and do something about it. Racism is not okay. Injustice is not okay. Evil is not okay. White supremacy is not okay.

It is past time for the Church to step up and take a stand for EVERY LIFE. Are we not all the children of God? Do we not all deserve the same treatment?

Know Ahmaud’s name and share his story.

Start up conversations with your family and friends about the injustices in the world. All of them: slavery, hunger, poverty, discrimination of any kind, abuse of any sort.

Stand up for those who you see being discriminated against. Silence is not the answer.

Recognize that privilege does exists. Stop denying it. Learn from it.

Respect everyone, no matter their religion, gender, race, political affiliation, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

Now is not the time to sit idly by and let these things happen. Share your voice, be a voice for those around you who are oppressed and afflicted. Be the hands and feet of Jesus towards everyone you come in contact with. Believer, now is the time to show love to everyone.

Although this news cycle might be coming to a close, the discussion of racism shouldn’t. I pray that you don’t forget Ahmaud’s name or his story. I pray that you use it to fight against racism. I pray that your heart is stirred, and that conversation flows because of this. Do not let this list continue to grow.

His name is Ahmaud Arbery.

His name is…

Her name is…

Alec Lloyd
Young Adult Minister | Operations Associate