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Essence – On Healing America


I was praying the other night and my words were simple: “God please heal America. As a country, we need your guidance to navigate through this trying time.”

COVID-19, racial tension, and this election cycle are the ingredients for continued civil unrest.

I continued and said, “Lord, I am a Pastor. I am an American. I am a father. I am a Black man. And, each role allows me to speak from an insightful position of passion and clarity.”

While praying for God to intervene, I realized something: he had already provided you and I a voice to be a part of healing our nation.

In my work with Urban Specialists in communities like Dallas, Atlanta and Baton Rouge, I am convinced that if we stand together, we can be healed from the open scars and from our painful past. These wounds show themselves in our failing criminal justice system, two-tiered economy, race relations, and the brutality of police on fellow citizens. As a startup nation we have a long way to go. I’m confident  we can get there, but to succeed, we must resolve to tackle this challenge head on.

Heal America is not just a call to action; it’s a movement. It is a manifestation of the difficult work and conversations that must take place for America to live up to the creed that we hold so true: that all men are created equal. We must purify those unalienable rights given to us not by government but by our creator.

That’s the work we have been doing, and we have allies who are partnering with us in cities across the country. Our Course Correction conversations in Dallas, Detroit and Baton Rouge are catalysts for uniting around solutions, and we are going to keep having these conversations in other cities like Minneapolis on July 29th.

These conversations help people move from being frustrated on the sideline to being included as frontline participants of change. And, that positions us for the solutions. Together, we can identify shared goals and find out what is working. Then, we can position local leaders who can drive positive change. This is the movement.

There was a line in one of my favorite movies, Boyz in the Hood, when Dough-boy was thinking about his brother Ricky who had just been killed. He took a gaze at the continued terror in his neighborhood and simply said: “either they don’t know, they don’t show or they just don’t care.” Today, we risk a budding crisis and the unraveling of the integrity and character of America.

I am keenly aware that through the COVID health crisis and the pictures of brutal death and racial unrest seen by so many, we have all been moved to action. We as a nation collectively acknowledge that this uncomfortable crisis is real and the problems are severe, but there is a solution.

Bishop Omar Jahwar is the Bishop Of The Culture and Pastor of Kingdom War Legacy Church and Founder of Urban Specialists, OGU and the Heal America Network. Follow him on Twitter.

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