Oh, dear Abby—I had so many emotions wash over me watching you walk to the car with your Daddy after church.
This world you’re inheriting is a broken place. Just this weekend, I saw a sight I never expected: Confederate, American, and Nazi flags all flown together in the face of all that is good. Wicked men shouted words that I know I will have to explain to you some day, but I can’t imagine doing right now. This weekend, hundreds marched with torches in hand symbolizing and embodying hate and racism of the most detestable kind. Others wielded baseball bats and homemade flame-throwers. And I sense that it was not just a fringe element in an isolated city: these people came from all over the nation, not even bothering to hide their faces. Their leaders wear respectability and suits, propagating their toxic version of free speech Internet-wide. People were beaten. A woman was murdered. I wept when I saw the images.
They called it a “Unite the Right” rally.
Abby, I don’t fit on a scale of Left to Right, but there is absolutely nothing this weekend represented by the alt-right that I will claim as my own, or that I wish for you.
They claim the slogan, “Make America great again,” but all I see is hate. I want to go on record as saying that I stand opposed to the racism and white supremacy that flared this past weekend and is kept at a constant simmer in our nation. Evil is evil. My heart breaks for the precious souls who woke up this morning feeling “less than,” or marginalized, or unsafe. And I recognize that my background and life experiences mean that I don’t even know what words to use to describe the feelings that I can only imagine are growing in those who were the object of hate this weekend, and who have experienced racism all their lives. I don’t know the right words to say, but this is my best attempt to say them, and to weep with those who weep.
Our only hope is Jesus Christ, and the gospel of His redemption. We desperately need His costly grace. This world is a mess. This country is a mess. And you, dear Abby, will grow up right in the midst of it, your innocence someday discovering that there are people who hate any version of humanity outside their slim definition.
My daily prayer is that God will raise you up to be a mighty woman of God, His mouthpiece of peace, and that you will be the garment that He wears in this nation. I pray that you and your two big brothers will speak out against wickedness, will fight to protect the weak and the marginalized, and will share the redemptive love of Jesus Christ wherever you go.
A vote won’t fix this brokenness, Abby. Taking down a statue won’t heal the pain, nor will it rewrite the grievances of the past. The right person on the Supreme Court won’t bring resolution. Banning all the red hats and swastika flags won’t do it either. Neither is silence an acceptable option.
In the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “The world is overcome not through destruction, but through reconciliation. Not ideals, nor programs, nor conscience, nor duty, nor responsibility, nor virtue, but only God’s perfect love can encounter reality and overcome it. Nor is it some universal idea of love, but rather the love of God in Jesus Christ, a love genuinely lived, that does this.”
Precious Abigail, you walked through the parking lot today, hand in hand with your Daddy, full of trust and joy. May you one day know Jesus as your Savior, dear Abby, and may you walk hand in hand with Him through this messy, beautiful world. I pray that you will encounter reality, and overcome it through love.