By: Laisha Harris
HOUSTON-In 1975, local business and professional communities have gathered for prayer and support at The Greater Houston Prayer Breakfast. With music, food and fellowship, members of the Houston, Mission Bend and Clear Lake community, and elected and appointed officials met in Downtown Houston on Tuesday for this annual event. Following a roaring applause and a standing ovation for members of the local police department and prayer for the country of Ukraine. Monica Lee, Senior Leader at the NASA Johnson Space Center, spoke about the way things look and the way things are.
Lee was told at a young age that math would stand in the way of her success as an adult. That was the way things looked to her teachers. Now, Lee is the Chief of Staff for NASA working on getting the first woman into space and the first humans on Mars. That is the way things are. Connecting the indisputable knowledge of science and the word of Christ, Lee says “an object will stay the same until there is a force or action to put it into motion. Or, as us Bible-folks would say, faith without works is dead.” You can want, you can wish, you can pray – but until you put faith into action, there will be no reward. She has a valid point. We pray for change but what is being put into action?
Lee goes on to say, “you may not be able to change the masses, but you can change the moment.” Thinking about the life of Jesus—Christianity was not common at the time Jesus was born, but His presence did change the moment. His life was impactful because Jesus followed the laws of his God, rather than the laws of the Romans. The following of Christ threatened the economic structure of Rome at the time, a factor leading towards His crucifixion. Jesus broke the rules of man that went against the Kingdom of God. By following Christ, you would be rejecting the ideologies and practices that encourage the oppression of others. By following Christ, love of God and others is the center of your heart, rather than profits and control of communities. We may not be able to change or stop racist people from being racist, but we can change the moment by taking in the way things look and recognizing the way things are.
How do things look? Like faint and insincere attempts at ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion.’ The Black community has been shaken yet again by an indisputably racist act of violence that is not acknowledged by the wealthy business professionals who make incredible profits in the Black community. It looks as if by standing in the righteousness of Christ, you are absolved of your responsibility to fight for the poor, the sinners, and the unclean. It looks as if Christ is standing with the White, wealthy, and powerful. It looks as if we are coming on the end of times—but that is not the way things are.
Psalm 82:3-4, “Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.” Isaiah 49:26, “I will feed your oppressors with their own flesh.” Psalm 146:7-9, “The Lord sets the prisoners free . . . opens the eyes of the blind . . . raises up those who are bowed down . . . loves the righteous . . . protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, But He thwarts the way of the wicked.”
The Prayer Breakfast concluded with a question that I encourage us all to think about: where do you stand with your God who created this world that we all live in?