As the chant “Black Lives Matter” holds center stage across our nation, there is this growing countercall, “All Lives Matter.” This response derives from those who want to retain their sense of value and not be excluded from the equation. Does one life hold more value over another life . . . Whose lives matter? This is a question that comes up more often than we may think. We have come to that place where we question the value of a life. Does my life matter more than yours? Does the life of an unborn child matter more than the life of the mother? Does the life of a teenage Leukemia patient matter more than the life of a cancer-stricken senior? Do Black Lives Matter More than All Lives?

In this struggle for self-worth, we contemplate our value compared to others, forgetting the connectedness in our creation. The Bible tells us how God formed us and made us in His image and our creator breathed the essence of our life into us.[1] There is only one mold from which all human beings were created. It has only been through the process of time, locations, and environments that the exterior features of God’s creation have changed into the many shades and shapes we have in our world today. Yet the blood that runs through our veins and the breath of His Spirit, which brought forth our existence, remains the same.

As a man of faith, I am troubled and saddened by the pain, hurt, and brokenness I see across our nation. As a man born of a black father and a white mother, I live a life constantly burdened by the backlash and attacks generated by this tug-of-war between black and white. As a man of faith, my hope resides in Christ and is energized by the promises expounded in the Holy Writ. As a man of faith and color, I stand against the injustices of the past and the systemic failures of a system that continues to jeopardize every black person’s life.

Yes, all lives matter – your life and my life matter. This has never been disputed by black people who stand up and say their lives matter. The clarion call, “black lives matter,” comes from a people who have been separated from God’s original creation by generational disparities and overt racism. Consider this beautiful illustration of our heavenly Father’s response through the Apostle Matthew. The story tells of a shepherd who owns a hundred sheep. This shepherd left the ninety-nine to go after the one who was lost and becomes happier at that moment in finding the one over the ninety-nine who remained safe. You see, God Himself will place a singular focus on the one life in jeopardy over the many who are safe.[2]

Now, let me expound beyond one life to one race: a black community who, in this hour, are a people in peril. These people, black and brown, are connected to every human being through the blood and spirit of our creator. In their anguish from the innumerable injustices and the inequality crippling them, their cry of crisis echoes across the land. As it reverberates from little towns to big cities, from one state to the next, our civil society and nation have been jolted to its core. We stand, some in awe, others in anger. We walk, march, and watch as many questions. . . what now?

Well, consider this fact: more than 80% of Americans hold to a faith in God.[3]This brings us back to our united origin. We, a people of faith and conscience, are being challenged in this very hour. As the world watches and all of heaven stands in silence, there is an urgency in the spirit, a calling for a renewal, a reawakening to be reconnected to the Spirit of God.

The need in this hour is to move beyond petty politics and derisive optics. We are being called to march into our houses of worship, to hold vigils in the public square as we bend our knees in prayer. We must pray for our nation, leaders, and black people who have been oppressed for years. Let us seek God’s face and repent for our country and for devaluing the greatest of God’s creation – you and me. The hope and salvation of America depend on the prayers of a people who will see beyond color, ethnicity, age, and religion. This mandate from God is the foundational step to our solution:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

[1] Genesis 1:26

[2] Matthew 18:12-14