The Witness

The Breath of Life in Black Bodies

Sierra Lyons

On the sixth day of creation, God breathed the breath of life into man and man became alive. To inhale and exhale is to point to the sovereignty of God as he alone ordains life. When Black life is unjustly robbed, the heavens weep and mourn the life of that Black soul.

George Floyd was not just a man. He was a man intricately designed by God. His last words echo in our ears as we put our lives on hold and grieve the loss of another Black man. “I can’t breathe” permeates our thoughts as we see and read about four Minneapolis cops overriding our position as humans to unjustly rob Floyd of the breath of life.

Jurisdiction Over Life

George Floyd was a man of God who devoted his time to uplifting communities and spreading the Gospel while doing so. In 2 Corinthians 3, Paul speaks on the believer’s transformation from this life to another, “from glory to glory.” And while the breath of life doesn’t just bear a body, but a soul as well, we know that Floyd’s absence from Earth signifies his presence with the Lord. Even in knowing Floyd’s soul rests in the presence of God, our position as believers is to not only mourn his death but to call for justice to be served on his behalf and for the jurisdiction over life to be solely established in God’s hands.

What does it look like for the sovereignty of God to be exalted over policing? As believers, it means for us to be proactive for justice and not just reactive. Followers of Christ of all colors should be burdened to call for justice not only when a Black life is brutalized on display for all to see but also in our day-to-day expectation of law enforcement’s power.

Many are quick to speak up when graphic videos are released. But they are equally hesitant to speak up for Black lives that cry for help with no video or hashtag to support them. The distressing relationship between Black lives and police is decades-long, a nuanced experience that only recently has been legitimized with video evidence and social media recognition.

Praying and Doing

When saints are silent as law enforcement abuses their power, we are agreeing to their pursuit to be God-like and superior to “ordinary” individuals. Huperephanos, the Greek word for pride, means “to show one’s self above others; preeminent.” This is what we see in the case of the police’s murder of George Floyd. To have a prideful heart and shed innocent blood is detestable to God and it is our role as followers of Christ to speak out against these actions.

The altars that America has created to magnify law enforcement over the sanctity of human life must be destroyed as we commit our lives to holistically advocating for souls and not just life inside the womb. As Floyd’s life bore the image of God, his body and soul point to the Kingdom of God. As the breath of life continues to flow through him in eternity, we call on the breath of life in Black bodies to be valued while we inhabit the earth.

I commend you to pray for justice and to lift up George Floyd’s name as you grieve. As you are praying, consider simultaneously putting in the work to ensure the protection of Black lives from law enforcement.


4 thoughts on “The Breath of Life in Black Bodies

  1. Emily J

    So well written with practicals as well. Praying that the looting and riots would not distract us from pursuing justice and continuing to hold law enforcement responsible. The news is so quick to turn everything to the riots rather than remembering the WHY behind the protests originally which is valid and there is a need to not be silent. Again, thank you for sharing and praying that the Lord continues to open opportunity and platform to share what you have to say!

  2. Abby

    Thank you for this.

  3. Gary G

    Beautifully expressed Lady Lyons!

    And if you’re one of the voices that God has crying in the wilderness, in this season, you may not eradicate injustice in your life time, but I am certain that you will have directed many hearts, straight to the truth.

  4. Faith L.

    This was absolutely phenomenal. I’m speechless. Beautifully and eloquently articulated. RIH George Floyd!

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