In a call last week, I invited two young African American staff members to share with me their feelings over the events in our city and nation.  A young lady followed up my invitation with an email. She told me:
“My most immediate sentiments as a black woman in America are grief and hopelessness… I fear for my father, my godson and my male relatives.  Friday evening, I sat in my bedroom and just wept. I experienced the Lord in that.”
I wanted to respond, but I wondered how.  The power and pain of what she said haunted me.  Words seemed inadequate. As I grappled with a “right” response, tears came.  I mourned. I wept. I wept with her, for her and for countless other Nyack and ATS students, alumni, faculty and staff.

Jesus often wept. He wept for the pain and lostness of people – all people.  In Bethany, He wept for His grieving friends.  In Jerusalem, He wept for strangers in a crowd who would soon call for His crucifixion.  Jesus’ heart was broken for the pain of people.  The heart of God incarnate was tender.  Jesus wept.

At Nyack College, we weep with our brothers and sisters of color.  We weep and we mourn the injustice and the evil that bring feelings of grief and hopelessness.  We weep with the tears of pain, anger and frustration.  I pray that, like the young woman who wrote to me, the tears we shed–despite our different life experiences–ultimately bring us to the foot of the same cross. I pray for godly wisdom and that the Spirit who binds our hearts in Christian love will help us reach out to each other in meaningful ways.

Through our tears, and by God’s grace, we will seek His guidance in being more than merely intentionally diverse, but more intentionally attuned to what truly makes us one in Christ–as we exist in His body and in a nation that stands for liberty and justice for all.

But for now, we weep.  We weep with hearts broken and we pray for healing from the wounds and injustice that our brothers and sisters of color have suffered for far too long.  May God’s peace and justice reign over us all.

With a sincere heart,

A Statement To and For the Nyack College/ATS Community - Nyack College
A Statement To and For the Nyack College/ATS Community - Nyack College