Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Matthew 15:26-27 He replied, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.’ ‘Yes it is, Lord,’ she said. ‘Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.’

There has been much unrest in the city of Baltimore over the unexplained death of Freddie Gray. There is a lot of gray area in between the arrest of Freddie Gray and his arrival at the jail with a severed spine. People have been crying out in protests. As with Ferguson, there are outside agitators mixed in with righteous protestors. We cannot acquiesce to the rage and hostility of the undisciplined. We must let our voices be heard without capitulating to the negative stereotypes of unfettered beasts. We cannot mirror the evil of the officers who murdered Freddie Gray. We cannot afford to be our own worst enemy. We must answer to a higher name.

There was a Canaanite woman, a minority that was crying out to Jesus because of the spiritual injustice done to her daughter. She shows us the model of public protest without losing her piety.

1. She focused her attention on crying out to someone who could help her. She knew Jesus to be a healer and a person of compassion. His disciples wanted to silence her because was a minority but she kept crying out. When we see injustice we are to “cry loud and spare not!” We should not remain silent.

2. She bowed before Jesus. Even though the majority told her to shut up she kept crying out and she instead chose to worship Jesus. You can’t get the attention of those in authority by abusing them. Dr. King got the attention of those in authority by surrendering his body. What do we need to surrender to get the attention of Jesus?

3.  Jesus called her a dog and she didn’t bite. In an episode of “Being Mary Jane,” MJ takes the parking space of a white man who is preoccupied on his cell phone. He calls her an ugly black female dog. She says, I can understand you calling me a ‘female dog’ but ugly?!” She is saying in essence you associate my aggressiveness with being dog like but my character and appearance don’t match your description. Her reaction did not correspond with his label. In life we will be tested to see how we respond to what people call us. This women told Jesus, “even the dogs get the scraps from the table.” She took what could have been a racial offense and made spiritual sense. She overcame Xenophobia and got what she needed for her daughter. Can you transcend race to get in Jesus’ face to get what you need?

4.  Her faith got the attention of Jesus. It is not our anger that will solve our current crisis. It is our unrelenting pursuit of what is right and what is needed from the only one who really cares. We have got to keep our composure when confronted with racially charged injustice. We cannot fall victim to the climate of hate. We cannot give into our lower nature or lower our standards because we are angry. We are children of the most high. We are called to live up to his name, not answer to the names they call us. We are children of God not Dogs. Let’s act like it.

Dear God,

Help us to react like your children and not children of the devil.  We are tired of our children, women, and men dying in the streets by the hand of the police and the hands of other people of color.  Help us to stop being our own worst enemies.  Father bring peace to Baltimore. Stop the violence in Memphis and bring racial healing to the United States. We cry out to you, savior do not pass us by.

In Jesus Name,

Amen