Today I sit and I read the posts, see the hashtags, and feel the damage done and I wonder what people are thinking.

I wonder what happened in their life to cause them to see skin over sin. What happened to allow us to think that our definition of justice is entitled when the truth is true justice is encountered. Why do so many of us unknowingly attach our shock and disbelief in what is happening in the world today to God and some how adopt a belief that He is just as surprised as we are.

You see, God is NOT surprised at all by anything that is taking place globally, in our country, in our state, in our county, in our city, in our churches, and in our homes. It is not surprise He feels but rather I believe a deep sadness. A sadness because every person involved in these events hold a piece of His heart.

As the church we must stand together against injustice. We must raise up a standard and we must hold it. As the church I believe now more than ever is a time where we have the opportunity to model something the world is seeing less and less of… love. While the world is looking for justice in the form of revenge, riots and confusion, let’s be the church that answers in love. The kind of love that is truth, that is unpopular, that isn’t tolerant of sin, a love that costs us something to give. A love that can’t be confused or excused for anything but a love that is from our Jesus.

Justice doesn’t look like revenge and retaliation but rather it looks like a road. A road that one man took a long time ago when riots, rumors and racism was the truth everyone believed. He walked the road in love and He allowed His truth to be spoken not in words but in love, and He died in love. A death not just for the ones who deserved it but for everyone. That’s what justice looks like. Jesus.

I challenge you today to stand. Stand for those who can’t. Stand for those who don’t know how. Stand for those who are confused. Stand for those who are cruel. Stand for those who have been wronged and stand for the ones who are guilty. Because when you stand, you will be doing what you see your Jesus do. Justice isn’t a side… it’s Jesus.

The heart of Garden Valley Church has always been to reflect, model and uphold the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is our heart to stand and to never tolerate injustice but rather to accept the invitation and opportunity to invite and introduce it to Jesus.

To those rioting, those needing to hate to feel peace, to those confused about justice, to those who need a home, to those who need love, to those who need a friend, to those who need forgiveness, to those who need a new narrative.
The man that stands before me today is not the man I know you to be. Come home.

-Christi Stone