Eugene Cho

There will come a time to hope but for now, we mourn. We lament.

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“…Mourn with those who mourn.” [Romans 12:15]

This picture.

Wailing.
Crying.
Disbelief.
Incredulity.
Oh no, not again.
Just utter pain.
Deep lament.

It hurts to just stare at this photo and even more so, to imagine the shrieks and intensity of this father’s deep scream.

For a moment, put aside your views, your “I told you so” comments, or your aspirations to be a political commentator.

For us – especially as Christians –
if our Black brothers and sisters in Christ are hurting
…If they are truly our brothers and sisters in Christ;
And if we are truly the Body of Christ as we profess
…may we mourn with them.
May we truly listen – even to the shrieking cries of a father and mother.

Mourn with those who mourn.
And in mourning, may we capture a glimpse of why so many are so hurt, crestfallen, and angry…

We mourn for the Brown family.
We mourn for Ferguson.
We mourn for our Black sisters and brothers.
We mourn – even – for Darren Wilson and his family.
We mourn for us. All of us.
We mourn for America.

There will come a time to hope…but for now, I mourn.
There will come a time to hope…but for now, we mourn.
We lament.

And may the Lord meet us in our mourning…

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” [Psalm 34:18]

If you read one more thing about Ferguson, I invite you to read this post by Rev. Dr. Liz Mosbo Verhage: “Call to Arms – Arm to Arm – After Ferguson. It’s written for you.

[photo credit: Reuters]

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21 Responses

  1. Bruce Strom says:

    Thank you! Too many commentaries going both ways that lose sight of the human tragedy regardless of facts and our need to mourn with our friends. Thank you for your example.

  2. Glori says:

    There are consequences to poor decisions, NO CONDEMNATION but always consequences,

  3. Michelle W. says:

    I find it hard to mourn for Wilson. But I trust your words. Yes, let’s mourn….

  4. Santes Beatty says:

    Well said my brother.

  5. cathy b says:

    “We mourn – even – for Darren Wilson and his family.” ?? A very disappointing post from a very wise man of God.

    I too mourn for Michael Brown parents, but I also mourn especially for Darren Wilson.

  6. Tia says:

    It’s scary how cut n dry this is to some people. Like the racial & socioeconomic context has nothing to do with it. Yes, I’ll seek to understand the law. A system that is KNOWN for it’s racial disparities. Yep, I’ll lean on my understanding of THAT law to help me arrive at an objective interpretation of M. Brown’s murder. Thanks for your wisdom

  7. Marcy says:

    As Christians, can we also try to understand the pain law enforcement and their families feel? Do you know many spouses and children are under protective custody tonight? Our society has gone insane. We cannot continue to be at war with one another. Listen DEEPLY. Hear each other’s hurts. Wounds must be cleaned not just patched over.

  8. Rick says:

    Sorry…but you lost me at the word “even.”

  9. Bret S. says:

    Ferguson wakes up angry every day, and should. And the white infrastructure of that judicial community is correctly under a microscope, and must change, and be racially representative of and accountable to the majority black population of that township.

    None of those necessities change the ugly forensic facts of the shooting, or compel the indictment of a cop doing his job. This is a tragedy all around, but the cop-whatever his skin color, or even his opaque bias in shooting when he did-was doing his job, and dealing with the hurried and muddled facts on the ground. We cannot punish or indict a man for the injustice he symbolizes. We can only judge the fact of what he did, and whether it was correct within the moral and professional parameters of his job

  10. Ignacio says:

    Mourn because he killed someone. It’s not to difficult to understand. Pastor didn’t say feel sorry for him but to mourn. There is a big difference!!

    • JPoole says:

      Mourn because his life is now changed forever, he has to live in fear for his own life. He killed someone because he was defending his own life, something most people would make the difficult decision to do as well.

  11. Shawn M. says:

    Eugene, why would you intentionally diminish the call to action for mourning with the Wilson family? I’ve watched your posts about Ferguson since day one, and it appears your bias for the Michael Brown family pits you against the Darren Wilson family. We shouldn’t have to muster extra strength to feel Officer Wilson’s pain.

    • Jake says:

      I have much more empathy for communities who have historically endured the oppression of white folks than I do for the pain (which is derived of white oppression in the first place) endured by said communities. I think we should understand the ultimate sadness is in the general picture this event uncovers

    • JPoole says:

      Shawn, 100% agree. I have attended Eugene’s church a few times looking for a Church home. I was taken aback by the subtle racist preaching I heard in those sermons, I thought possibly the first time i really didn’t hear the message, but the second time (this time an associate Pastor) it became quite clear the church is not a uniter under Christ but a divider.

  12. Adam S. says:

    EVEN Wilson? Wow, that man has lost his career, under constant threat of murder so yes. I also mourn for him.

  13. Nancy says:

    Brother Eugene has always been transparent with us all, and if “even” is how he feels, then I trust that he was led by the Spirit to mourn with all.

    Check the judgement in your hearts, brothers and sisters, and let the man own his own feelings.

    • JPoole says:

      Nancy, I believe you are misguided. Pastor Cho’s article below is not transparent, but heavily skewed towards his personal beliefs and bias. Claiming he doesnt know the facts of the case yet, gives no reason to write such a one sided skewed article supporting the false narrative the media has been portraying that this is a simple case of and unarmed black man being killed. All the facts are out, and it is clear this police officer was defending himself from a proven aggressive bully. The false narratives of being shot in the back and hands up were debunked by forensic and witness testimony.

      Yes, it’s tragic Michael Brown died, it was awful. While Wilson was tending to a sick African American baby, Brown was knocking off a store and bullying the store owner. A bully and a police officer crossed a tragic path moments later. One, who wakes up every day to help keep us safe crossed with a known bully and racist (google Browns rap lyrics). Wilson had never fired his weapon in the line of duty, but unfortunately had to that fateful day. Transparency should be supported by facts and given with a bias free and objective heart.

      https://eugenecho.com/2014/08/16/please-dont-ignore-it-five-ways-that-christians-and-churches-must-engage-michael-browns-death/

  14. Jonathan Nkwagu says:

    All our righteous&unrigteous acts,good deeds or misdeeds, justice&injustices are but momentral & have their just rewards from the Almighty.

  15. JPoole says:

    “Even for Wilson and his family”, biased and not genuine. The word “Even” automatically puts Cho in a position supporting the false narrative being spun by part of the media,

  16. […] especially with their engagement with Black Americans. As some of you may know, I’ve been a vocal supporter of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Yet, if we’re not wise and discerning, we can make a similar kind of tragic mistake by […]

  17. […] especially with their engagement with Black Americans. As some of you may know, I’ve been a vocal supporter of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Yet, if we’re not wise and discerning, we can make a similar kind of tragic mistake by […]

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One Day’s Wages

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Window seat. For the win. As leaders, we must not see ministry and family as competing commitments.  We must not sacrifice our marriage and kids for the sake of "ministry." How can we? Loving our families IS ministry & good leadership.

And on a side note, we took this goofy photo for Mother's Day last Sunday at @seattlequest. I was shocked! What in the world happened to our kids? Our 13 year old son blocked four of my shots on the basketball court yesterday. He's since been grounded... I fear that we ask God to move mountains, forgetting that God also wants to move us.

In fact, it's possible that we are that mountain. Time flies. The eldest is wrapping up her 1st year in college and the college tours have begun for the 2nd child. The youngest enters high school in the Fall. Can't say enough about how proud Minhee and I are of the kids - not just of their accomplishments but the people they are and are becoming.

But...man...we can't wait to party it up when we're emptynesters. Party at our house. It's going to be epic. Humbled. Grateful. Mindful of God's grace and faithfulness in my life. It's all grace... It's an unexpected honor to be invited back - even with some mini-drama - to @princetonseminary to receive the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award - exactly 25 years after starting my journey there as a student in 1992. Wow.

Princeton isn't necessarily for everyone. And to say that I loved everything about my experience would be misleading but it was very formative. Ir challenged me to examine why I believed in what I believed. It reminded me that God could handle my questions. It prepared me for a post-Christian context where I am not entitled to be heard but I had to earn the right to be heard, and of course, it taught me that all is good with a Philly cheese steak at Hoagie Haven.

No one is an island to themselves and I am certainly an example of that. Many people - women and men, young and old, and of many backgrounds - prayed, encouraged, mentored, and loved me along the way. Grateful for my professors at seminary, my many classmates, and the numerous fellow staff and co-laborers I've had the privilege of serving Christ with past and present. And of course, I'm forever inspired by my parents, my children, and my wife, Minhee. Thank you for your faith, hope, and love...and oh, for your patience. Only your family will know and see both the best and worst of you. They've seen my worst...and keep on believing in me.

Thank you again, PTS and President Barnes, for this honor. Then, today, and tomorrow...by God's grace, just striving to be faithful to my Lord and Savior...to preach and live out the convictions of the whole Gospel. Amen. So humbled and grateful to be with @catalystleader in Cincinnati to encourage leaders from all around the country about the invitation to Uncommon Fellowship.

Preached from John 4. We can talk, preach, sing, philsophize, liturgize, and spit rhymes about Samaria...but we still have to talk through Samaria.

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