My son will be 21 years old this month and as much as I look forward to this new phase in his life, I can’t help but grieve for the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Joao Pedro and countless others who will never get to see their sons grow into young men. All the first experiences for George Floyd’s six year old daughter will not be the same because her dad won’t be there to see it and his son won’t have him there when he needs manly advice. I’m sure that the families often think about the lasts. The last hug, the last “I love you,” the last birthday, the last funny moment, the last disagreement.
When I think about my son who likes to wear hoodies and brand name sneakers; I see him as a young man full of potential and promise,if given the opportunity. But White America sees him as a threat. My anxiety consumes me regarding his future. Will he have one, or will it be snuffed out at the hands of a racist cop, pseudo patriotic Christians or neighborhood watch dogs.
There it is on the table.
My fear as a Black mom.
I know I’m not alone. All moms experience fear in varying degrees when it comes to their children. But Black moms with sons in particular live with the constant panic that tightens in our chest, praying that one day we don’t get that dreadful phone call or see our son on video being murdered like his life means nothing. As Christian moms, how do we fight our fear with faith? As a mom of a Black male in America, how does God’s Word help me with my fears as I raise my son in a racist society or as a mom of an adult son; how do I not allow my fears turn into bondage?
God promises to comfort us in our pain and affliction. The Holy Spirit comforts us with reminders of God’s everlasting love. His mercies are new every morning and attest to His faithfulness. When I’m fearful about my son encountering police brutality or racial profiling or fearful that what he wears or where he is might get him killed or fearful that his actions may be tragically misunderstood, I can remember the love of God—perfect love casts out all fear. I cast my anxieties and fears upon the Father, and His tender mercies comforts me.
It is destructive to allow fearful thoughts to stay in your mind. I can’t let my fear take me down a dark path. When we meditate on the Word of God it refocuses our mind on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely (Philippians 4:8). We will experience comfort when we mediate on the Word. I have to keep my mind on the Word. As much as I may want to, I can’t stand in front of my son guarding him like a watch dog. However, I can pray protection over him, for angels to surround him and plead the blood of Jesus over his life.
As Christians moms, God calls us to stand firm in faith, stand firm for social injustice and stand firm for the Gospel and God’s Kingdom. I trust God for His will to be done as I trust Him with my son’s future. Wherever his future leads, I pray that it would lead him straight to Jesus. There is eternity safety in Jesus Christ even if I can’t guarantee his safety here on earth. So, moms…I know, I hear you, I see you, I am you: raising African American sons has driven us to great fear, but let it also drive us to a deeper trust and relationship with God.