The entire globe is convulsing with social unrest and protests. Almost every day, I wake up to an endless stream of news that tempts me to despair. I look at the persistent racism and systemic oppression that mars our society, and I see no hope that things will change. I see political leaders failing to unify and not divide the country, and my trust in the system falters. I look at a church that so often views everything through the lens of a particular political party and not the gospel, and I feel downcast.

I take some small comfort in knowing that white Christians are stepping up to participate in public protests, analyze their organizations, and make room for change. But nonetheless, I’m still left with questions: Are black Christians seeing a momentary spike in sympathy, or is something deeper at work? Is a significant segment of the white evangelical church ready to join the fight for justice, or will the coming weeks and months see a return to the status quo? What will happen when there isn’t a steady stream of videos showcasing the undeniable face of black suffering?

There is an even more urgent question than whether white evangelicals participate in this movement. Our ultimate aim is not to secure allies; it is to secure freedom. With that in mind, can we really hope to slay or at least deeply wound the monster of racism that is so deeply imbedded in American culture?

In the context of this question, I sometimes go looking and praying for a sign. I need some signal that God has not abandoned us to human vice, that it is possible, in the words of Samwise Gamgee, for “everything sad … to come untrue.” I want to find room for hope when the reasons for it seem in short supply.

Where does my ...

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