A crisis has occurred in Dallas. Folks are gathering to pray and asking God’s intervention on their city. They want things to be better. They are petitioning God to heal relationships and mend hearts. But often these prayers are presented in the context of others: God please help them, whoever them may be.

We want black folk to appreciate the police. We want the police to respect black folk. And us white folks want to live in peace.

In dealing with these large entities we miss the you and the me. We neglect our part in this confrontation. We weren’t there, we say. We had nothing to do with it. Not being present doesn’t make us absent from culpability. Nor does it allow us to ignore God’s invitation in the matter.

His plea is to look at my heart and my attitude and notice how I treat others, any others. Do I classify and categorize those I meet? Do I reach out to those that appear “good” and walk past those who appear “bad”? Is this the walk of Jesus?

It is interesting that after Jesus’ wilderness experience he did not head for the synagogues and seminaries. He connected with the everyday person. He invited the common man to join him in his ventures. He displayed incredible value for those he met because he knows each person has worth. Even in the garden where there were the avengers and the believers Jesus showed great respect for all people regardless of their actions or attitudes.

The integration of our faith is an important topic in spiritual formation. Actions convey our heart louder than our words. Others know where we stand without our saying anything. Is God asking me to put my faith into practice and no longer leave it in the book on the shelf?

How might God be leading me to take this ugly situation and accept its invitation for another kind of life, a life of respect and worth toward everyone?