How to be an Ally 101 Sermons

Will You Weep With Me?

Brian Key

I went to bed with a heavy heart two nights ago. I woke up wishing that it was just a nightmare. But it wasn’t. I couldn’t un-see what I saw. Alton Sterling, a man created in the image of God, was killed. Another black man reduced to a hashtag.

On days like these, we cry because we feel the weight of what the Bible tells us is true: In this broken world, marred by sin and death, things are not the way they are supposed to be.

We also cry, because we are longing for Jesus to come back to renew and restore all things like he promised:

“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” — Revelation 21:3–5

While we wait for that day, we experience the pain of today. How do we, the church, the family of God, need to respond today?

“…weep with those who weep.” — Romans 12:15

That’s the invitation from the Apostle Paul to us. If you are wondering how you should respond to the shooting of Alton Sterling, there is your answer. When you weep with someone, you identify with them in their pain. It is humanizing in the face of the dehumanizing pain of grief. It somehow makes the grief less lonely, though not less painful.

There will be other days for critique and disagreements, fact-seeking and fault-finding. But can you do me a favor today and just weep with me? Weep with us. Weep with that man’s family. Weep with Baton Rouge.

We can and should work for justice. But what we need today is prophetic lament. Cry out against the murder of another image-bearer. Cry out against the injustice. Cry out to the Lord for healing, help, and hope.

Until Jesus wipes our tears from our eyes forever, will you weep with me?

15 thoughts on “Will You Weep With Me?

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  2. Jonathan Carson

    Theo I think everyone feels sorry for the police officers who were killed in Dallas. Only a psychopath or a truly despicable human would see that attack as justified or ok.

    However, the ambush of police by criminals doesn’t mean peaceful protest should be stopped when it concerns injustice by officers of authority against innocent civilians. We shouldn’t equate the acts of a criminal with those of peaceful protesters. Whenever a police officer is killed in the line of duty there should be sorrow. But there should be moral outrage and anger when a civilian is executed by an individual sworn to uphold the law and to protect society.

    While the deaths of the black men and police officers are both tragic. They are not the same.

  3. Tom

    Thank you for this perspective. Largely because of your suggestions, we did devote the intercessory prayer at our (white) church today to mourning the 7 men who were victims; their parents who lost sons; their wives/girlfriends who lost husbands/boyfriends; and their children who lost fathers.

    And pleaded for God to bring His kingdom here on earth. He is our only hope, but He is a sure hope.

  4. James

    This is good. It’s real. I can understand more, and feel conviction…
    Thank you.

  5. Rebecca

    Yes, weeping with you.

  6. Sarah

    Found my way here via a friend on Facebook. Thanks for your beautiful words, and gracious responses to your commenters as well.

  7. Brian Hawkins

    To those demanding action, I honestly think that activism can easily become a part of the problem. We see almost immediately activists using a tragedy to further their cause. Even when the cause is just, sometimes I wonder if they really care about the sacredness of life any more than the officer who pulled the trigger. There is not a great lack of activity, but there is a great lack of _lamentation_ driving that activism, which is why it can so quickly turn sour.

  8. Brian

    Amen! I couldn’t agree more. Our boots have to hit the ground. Our faith and words have to become actions.

  9. Toonna

    “Faith, without works, is dead”

    Yes we must mourn, and pray, but why do sons and daughters of God not act? Why do we not recognize our Father has given us the reasoning, resources, and will to act?

    Issa Rae set up a GoFundMe for Alton Sterling’s family that has raise almost $600,000 is under 72 hours, another GoFundMe page has raise over $115,000 for the family of Philando Castile. With the hope that these monies will be put to their intended use, these are actions that I see that seem to put faith to shame, which seems blasphemous even as I write it.

    We will mourn the tragedy of the state of the world, and we can pray that God may do only what He can do; change the hearts of men, then we must act and influence the situation as much as we can in love.

    “14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?” ~ James 2

  10. Brian

    I did weep last night as the news broke and my heart is broken this morning. I weep over the tragic loss of life for all people created in the image of God. I’m leading my church family to lament together on Sunday for Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and all of the officers who were killed or wounded last night. Yes, I am still weeping and praying for God to have mercy and bring peace.

  11. Theo

    So will you weep over the murder of 5 police officers in Dallas? The men and women in blue put their lives on the line to protect people of every color every day. No they aren’t perfect people but no one complains when they take the bullet or stop the criminal. I hope to see a response to the “peaceful” protest in Dallas or is it that only black lives that matter?

  12. T

    I wept today…and wept. and wept. I watched that video and wished I could leave this planet. I long for the Lord to come and restore this sin-sick world. May it be soon.

  13. Brian

    Jonathan, thanks for the reply. I agree. Lament is only the first step, but it is a necessary one. The pain that we feel has to spur us to action. I’m praying that God gives his people courage and compassion to both weep and act.

  14. Jonathan Carson

    Kinda feels like weeping is the least we can do. Maybe we could see actual involvement by communities to prevent these things from happening. Maybe find a way to hold the authorities accountable. Otherwise it’s just wasted tears, outrage, and hashtags. Without actual action by all communities, not just those affected or likely to be victims, we’ll never see change.

  15. Eddie

    Amen bro’!

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