“Then I said to them, ‘You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.'” — Nehemiah 2:17
Rise Up & Rebuild Together
Outside of working from home, I’ve been staying busy during quarantine by participating in a lot of webinars, virtual panels and Bible study groups. A few weeks ago during one team sports industry Bible study, we focused on Nehemiah 2 and 3, and learned that it takes a village to rebuild something that has been broken for many years. Nehemiah, the cup-bearer to the king, was joined by multiple families who each played a part in repairing the damages from the fire.
Similarly to how the community came together in Jerusalem, a group of professional athletes recently united to call on the NFL to condemn the systemic oppression of black people. League stars including Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr., Deshaun Watson, Tyrann Mathieu, Ezekiel Elliott, Jamal Adams, Stephon Gilmore and Patrick Mahomes created a viral video on social media to inspire change by the NFL.
The next day, the league released a statement apologizing for the lack of empathy toward racial injustice and police mistreatment of African Americans in the past. The commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, also announced that the league would be allowing the athletes to peacefully protest, including kneeling during the National Anthem.
Much like Nehemiah and the NFL players, we have the opportunity to make ourselves comfortably uncomfortable and work with many different people to reach a common goal. Some of God’s greatest blessings are produced from uncomfortable situations. If we keep running from things when they become unbearable, we won’t have the chance to experience all God has for us.
The walls of Jerusalem weren’t rebuilt overnight, it took 52 days to complete. In the same way, racism and the systemic oppression of African American people will not be resolved immediately, but we can start taking steps to speak out, educate and initiate change today. Brick by brick, we rise together.
What wall are you seeking to rebuild?
— Tamara Brown
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