5 Black Americans React To George Floyd’s Murder

I’ve asked 10 Christians—5 black Americans and 5 non-black Americans—to share their reactions to George Floyd’s murder. Some people believe black Americans and non-black Americans—especially white Americans have entirely different reactions to injustices against Geoge Floyd and black men.

But as you’ll see in this article, part 1, and tomorrow’s article, part 2—these individuals have different experiences, but because of Jesus Christ, their reactions and their hopes are not too different from each other:

“I was horrified by what I was watching…to hear George’s voice, and seeing him struggle, to the point of death, was sickening. I usually wait to learn what the facts surrounding a matter are, so as not to rush to judgement, but it was clear to see that George was murdered.
Pondering what had taken place, my thought was “an image-bearer of God was murdered” (I thank God for renewing my mind). That thought caused me to grieve because I know that God did not intend for things to be this way. Thankfully, there is hope for those who have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
I do not fear for my life, nor do I feel that, as a black man, I am being hunted down, as some have suggested. I think no less of neither white people, nor of any other ethnic group, because of this situation.
I pray that the body of Christ would unite for the sake of the gospel, not just for the sake of uniting ethnic groups. Christ is building his church, may we trust and look to him in anticipation of his return, remaining faithful to God’s gospel all the while.” – Aaron

“The murder of George Floyd, which was captured on a cell phone, has once again sparked outrage, which has led to protests, rioting, and looting across the American landscape. Chants of “I Can’t Breathe”, “Black Lives Matter” and the like have been the mantra for protesters and those who are outraged by what appears to be a murderous act committed by a person of a lighter melanin count against one who has a darker shade of melanin. The cultural narrative notwithstanding, at the base of all of this is sin.
Because of the Fall, man is in a fallen state and is living in rebellion against God. All of the vestiges of the Fall are apparent in what we see in our culture, i.e. “racism”, theft, destruction of property, hopelessness, etc. The only remedy is the Gospel. The Gospel tells us that unless a person possesses a new heart, they will never change. How does one receive a new heart? “Repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15). The Gospel is “the power of God unto salvation for those who believe” (Romans 1:16)
Only the Gospel can give man a new heart, a new nature, new motives, and new eyes. Stricter laws, protests, “anti-racism” campaigns, and the like, while well-intentioned, are not the ultimate solution. Only a new heart, through faith in Christ, can change the sinful proclivities of the human heart.” – Ron

I couldn’t watch George Floyd’s death in its entirety. I had to skip through it. I saw Derek Chauvin’s knee on his neck. I saw him begging for air. I saw him lying there, still. I saw him get hoisted onto the stretcher. I turned off the video.
There was so much that was racing through my mind. Anger at the officers. Sadness as I saw a helpless man murdered for no good reason. Hatred for sin and this clearly fallen world. I closed my laptop. I wish I could say I immediately prayed but I continued working at my makeshift cubicle inside my bedroom. I tried to forget honestly. But I was horrified at what I had witnessed and the image of George Floyd lifeless on the pavement won’t soon leave me.
The following week has been a hard one. Not because a man was murdered (I’m still reeling from that) but because of how the Church is responding. The world is without hope. So it riots and plunders. But Christians? We have an eternal hope that has defeated death. So why are so many of us acting as if we don’t?
We are the light atop the hill. Our love for God and each other should radiate so bright that it’s impossible to confuse us with the world. Recently though, all over social media, it’s been hard to tell the difference. – Sage

There is a sadness that came from even viewing the image of George Floyd with the officer’s knee in his neck; almost indescribable. Image bearer doing this to another image bearer, and then so many teachings from my mother about how to engage with police, how to interact in society, to try and avoid that same fate.
And then the protests, and the corrupting, evil riots, more sadness with the fallen state of humanity. I think, “This is prime opportunity for the church and the gospel” and then I remember the hope that’s within us that’s supposed to elicit questions from the world, and I think of how the world will know we are His disciples by our love for one another….are these true of us? Do we consider this part of our witness, do I?
I think about the history of a sizable portion of the American church’s witness to these things and I’m astounded at the patience and grace God has with His people, and we struggle with that too. So much prayer, meditation, and discipleship, but I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit, and know that He will do in us and through us what is necessary. – Khem

When I first saw the cop on George Floyd’s neck I was at a lost for words. What was he thinking? Why didn’t the other cops help? So many questions that lead me to the same conclusion, that was a bad incident. Clearly murder. As a person in law enforcement I couldn’t help but think how many times they violated simple procedures.
On the other hand, I was saddened by the reaction from people, particularly those who profess the name of Christ. I’ve seen numerous “Christians” justifying the riots and looting in the cause of “we need change.” Yes change is needed BUT Christians don’t break God’s law to produce the change. We can learn a lot from the Apostles’ example in this.
I was saddened to see the murder of George Floyd result in many Christians expressing their hatred for white people. I expect the world to riot, loot and hate to bring about change. But when this methodology comes into the Church, it is deadly!
Lord be with those who are grieving, let us as a body speak out against all forms of evil and purify your church! Lord Maranantha! – Kris

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Sep 13, Grand Remembrances

Today is Grandparents Day in the United States. Being a Grand is a special honor. I feel very blessed that my wife and I have two grandchildren. We were able to visit them today. Yes, we are still being cautious with the coronavirus, but we also find it very difficult to not see them when they live so close. So today we did drop by to visit Jacob (age 10) and Sophia (age 7) along with their parents. We brought donuts and caught up with them. Our grandchildren are still pretty young and this is a precious time in their lives – and ours!

I wish I had known my grandparents better. We never lived in the same place. Dad was a career Air Force pilot, so we moved around a lot. But we did get to see them once in a while when they would visit us, or we them.

A Plague of Giants

There are five known magical ‘kennings’ or types: air, water, fire, earth, and plants. Each nation specializes in of these kennings, and the magic influences the society. There’s a big pitfall with this diversity of ability and locale–not everyone gets along.

Enter the Hathrim giants, or ‘lavaborn’ whose kenning is fire. Where they live the trees that fuel their fire are long gone, but the giants are definitely not welcome anywhere else. They’re big, they’re violent, and they’re ruthless. When a volcano erupts and they are forced to evacuate, they take the opportunity to relocate. They don’t care that it’s in a place where they aren’t wanted.

I first read Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid books and loved them (also the quirky The Tales of Pell), so was curious about this new venture, starting with A PLAGUE OF GIANTS. Think Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. Elemental magic, a variety of races, different lands. And it’s all thrown at you from page one.

But this story is told a little differently. It starts at the end of the war, after a difficult victory, and a bard with earth kenning uses his magic to re-tell the story of the war to a city of refugees. And it’s this movement back and forth in time and between key players in this war that we get a singularly grand view of the war as a whole. Hearne uses this method to great effect.

There are so many interesting characters in this book that I can’t cover them all here. Often in books like this such a large cast of ‘main’ character can make the storytelling suffer, especially since they don’t have a lot of interaction with each other for the first 3/4 of the book–but it doesn’t suffer, thankfully. And the characterization is good enough, despite these short bursts, that by the end we understand these people and care about what happens to them.

If there were a main character it would be Dervan, a historian who is assigned to record (also spy on?) the bard’s stories. He finds himself caught up in machinations he feels unfit to survive. Fintan is the bard from another country, who at first is rather mysterious and his true personality is hidden by the stories he tells; it takes a while to understand him. Gorin Mogen is the leader of the Hathrim giants who decide to find a new land to settle. He’s hard to like, but as far as villains go, you understand his motivations and he can be even a little convincing. There’s Abhi, the son of hunters, who decides hunting isn’t the life for him–and unexpectedly finds himself on a quest for the sixth kenning. And Gondel Vedd, a scholar of linguistics who finds himself tasked with finding a way to communicate with a race of giants never seen before (definitely not Hathrim) and stumbles onto a mystery no one could have guessed: there may be a seventh kenning.

There are other characters, but what makes them all interesting is that they’re regular people (well, maybe not Gorin Mogen or the viceroy–he’s a piece of work) who become heroes in their own little ways, whether it’s the teenage girl who isn’t afraid to share vital information, to the scholars who suddenly find how crucial their minds are to the survival of a nation, to the humble public servants who find bravery when they need it most. This is a story of loss, love, redemption, courage, unity, and overcoming despair to not give up. All very human experiences by simple people who do extraordinary things.

Hearne’s worldbuilding is engaging. He doesn’t bottle feed you, at first it feels like drinking from a hydrant, but then you settle in and pick up things along the way. Then he shows you stuff with a punch to the gut. This is no fluffy world with simple magic without price. All the magic has a price, and more often than not it leads you straight to death’s door. For most people just the seeking of the magic will kill you. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Ahbi and his discovery of the sixth kenning and everything associated with it. But giants? I mean, really? It isn’t bad enough fighting people who can control fire that you have to add that they’re twice the size of normal people? For Hearne if it’s war, the stakes are pretty high, and it gets ugly.

The benefit of the storytelling style is that the book, despite its length, moves along steadily (Hearne is no novice, here). The bits of story lead you along without annoying cliffhangers (mostly), and I never got bored with the switch between characters. It was easy to move between them, and they were recognizable enough that I got lost or confused. The end of the novel felt a little abrupt, but I guess that has more to do with I was ready for the story to continue, despite the exiting climax.

If you’re looking for epic fantasy with fun storytelling and clever worldbuilding, check out A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

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The Artwork Of Gary Choo

Gary Choo is a concept artist/illustrator based in Singapore. I’ve know Gary for a good many years ( 17, actually ), working together in animation studios in Singapore like Silicon Illusions and Lucasfilm. Gary currently runs an art team at Mighty Bear Games, but when time allows he also draws covers for Marvel comics, and they’re amazing –

The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo

To see more of Gary’s work or to engage him for freelance work, head down to his ArtStation.

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