When I heard that Adventists would be gathering in Washington D.C. in the aftermath of the recent police-related shootings, I had no idea there would be 1,000 people. Dan Jackson, North American Division president, was there, too. Seventh-day Adventists are the most racially diverse church in America, and so we acutely feel the raw, racial tension in America.
“As Christians, we need to be the channels,” Jackson said, “the channels through which God reaches out to the wounded people in our community.” Dustin Hall, pastor of the Southview SDA Church in Minneapolis, couldn’t agree more. Shortly after the shooting of Philando Castile across town, Hall was tortured as to what to do. But then the children’s story happened. He watched as a little white boy sat down next to a little African boy, who immediately and instinctively put his arm around him. Pastor Hall said he cried before 400 people. The gesture was so sincere, so natural, so…needed. Kids don’t care about race. Hall and a few members went to the protest outside the Governor’s Home, and prayed with 15 police officers. The organizer of the protest found them and said he wanted Hall to pray for the protestors. Some supported Black Lives Matters, some supported gay rights, some were friends and family of Castile, and some were Buddhist monks. Dustin Hall prayed that they might all be like little children. “Who,” Ellen White wondered, “will put forth a determined effort to stay the work of destruction” going on around us. Let it be us.