BATON ROUGE – I begin this column by sending my condolences to the families of the three wounded officers and the loved ones of the three Baton Rouge peace officers who lost their lives on July 17: Montrell Jackson, 32, Matthew Gerald, 41, and Brad Garafola, 45. My city has been a place of turmoil since the shooting of Alton Sterling on July 5. However, in the midst of the turmoil, I see a Baton Rouge that is capable of making change.
After reading Montrell Jackson’s Facebook post, written on July 8, we were all confronted with a man who felt he was not respected on either side of the fence. Despite all the nasty looks Jackson contented he received, he adopted the only emotion that is kind, unselfish, and perseveres: love.
It is the only thing that will help us mend a wounded Baton Rouge.
Somewhere along the way, we have become numb to the concept of respecting life. Jesus came to do away with all evil acts (1 John 3:8). Now, more than ever, is the time to adorn the façade of Christ: Stand up against the enemy. Instead of attempts to play the blame game, now is the time to pray ask for forgiveness. Remove the political and selfish agendas. Once all that is gone, we have common ground.
Remember what the Bible says about love? Ask for our Father to restore us with agape love. The greatest commandment that we love one another as He loved us (John 13:34). Ask God to restore us as a people and a nation.
When we focus on loving each other, healing begins. Speaking of agape love, we have a generation who believe bloodshed is the only way to express themselves. Youth know a cold world. Mentors of youth: Let’s listen to lesser-known voices and show them positive steps toward unity and understanding while simultaneously showing discontent. I recall Martin Luther King Jr. achieving a lot without harming a soul. Young men and women have it within them, but they need role models to show the young an effective way to express their anger. Channel that anger for change that is beneficial and life-changing. The answer isn’t violence.
Solomon wrote there is a time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1-9). Now is the time, Baton Rouge, for us to plant seeds of positivity and to harvest love for all.
Top: Slain Baton Rouge police officer Montrell Jackson.
Right: Grelan Muse Sr.
Grelan A. Muse Sr., a Baton Rouge resident, is founder of Inside The Pew and Pew Talk Radio.
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