How We Won’t Choose Sides

First, thank you for your kindness.  Thank you to each of you who actually read my post and with an open mind and heart.  Thank you for listening to my thoughts and feelings.  I cannot say that enough.  I told Josh Kelley the other night I just want to get this right.  I want to get this life right so badly and to constantly try and think like Jesus would and bring Him glory.  I am ultimately a messed up sinner just trying to do my best and need buckets of grace.

This morning we woke to more lost lives.  To more hatred and evil.  To more of a fallen world in need of our Savior.  I keep saying over and over again “This is a mess.  We are a mess.”  I am so broken hearted for those police officers and their families.  I cannot imagine their devastation.  Here’s the thing:  We don’t have to take sides in this.  We can stand with and support our black sisters and brothers while simultaneously standing with and supporting our police officers.  It’s not one or the other.  We can be on both sides and that is where our family chooses to stand.

Last night I made breakfast for dinner.  Pancakes, eggs, bacon and fruit.  In some way I thought a yummy dinner…a familiar dinner…might ease my kids hearts as we discussed such hard matters.  We told them all about what had happened to Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.  I cried of course, but we had good open conversations where they could ask questions and say what they were feeling.  We talked about how we were going to a Black Lives Matter vigil and how we would stand up for this…how we wouldn’t be silent.  Hudson got teary.  Harper asked good questions.  Solomon was quiet.

Sol doesn’t talk about his feelings a lot.  I pry all the time to try and get him to open up.  I knew he would be quiet.  He’s a thinker.  After everyone had left the table he came over and buried his face in my neck.  I squeezed his little body so hard and asked how he was feeling.  He said “So sad.”

This morning I sat the kids down and again had a hard conversation, but told them about the police officers.  I cried again and explained we would stand with the police officers too.  That we always need to stand up for what’s right and what happened in Dallas was not right.  Hudson cried so hard.  Harper asked good questions.  Solomon this time quietly and simply asked “Was is a brown man who shot them?”  I answered all of their questions truthfully.  We talked about how police officers may feel today and how their families may feel as well.  I want my kids to be empathic and compassionate.

So today we made treats…chocolate chip cookies, funfetti cookies and rice krispy treats and delivered them to our police station.  Baked goods can change the world right?!?!  We also colored and drew signs for the vigil we are attending tonight.  The big kids all thoughtfully chose their own poster wording and it made my heart swell.  This is how we chose to not choose sides.  This is how we chose love and compassion.  This is how we are choosing to fight injustice.  There are so many other ways to do the same, this is just us.  We are saddened by all the lost lives this week and we will stand up for them.

Truthfully, yesterday was a pretty dark day for me.  So much so I didn’t even feel like myself.  I put my hope in people when I should have put my hope in Jesus.  I decided today would be different because I get to choose how I handle things and where I place my hope.

Again I wanted to share from a list I have been collecting.  Other people say what I am feeling so much better and so much wiser.  Please take the time to read them.

THIS article is ridiculously excellent.

“With the coverage of cases like those of Eric Garner, Mike Brown and Tamir Rice, the experiences of people of color in America have come back into the spotlight. And wherever your opinion falls on issues like these, believers are called to compassion. Our call is to mourn with those who are mourning.  Instead of arguing the facts of the controversial cases, fight to understand the underlying issues. There is a nation of people hurting, and who are you to tell them that they don’t feel pain? Christians, of all people, should put their arms around a hurting person. You don’t need to know why they hurt.”

 I saw THIS post by Tona Ottinger this morning.  Yes, yes, yes!  And then I cried because I feel this too.

“WHY OH WHY CAN’T WE GRIEVE BOTH???  WHY OH WHY is my news feed filling up with ‪#‎dallas‬ yet it has been almost silent prior?  Injustice requires us all to speak.  Yes, it does require us to pick sides….the side of justice.” 

 This article “What Shootings and Racial Justice Mean for the Body of Christ” is incredibly well written.  Please, please read.

“But how can anyone deny, after seeing the sheer number of cases and after seeing those in which the situation is all too clear, that there is a problem in terms of the safety of African-Americans before the law. That’s especially true when one considers the history of a country in which African-Americans have lived with trauma from the very beginning, the initial trauma being the kidnapping and forced enslavement of an entire people with no standing whatsoever before the law. For the black community, these present situations often reverberate with a history of state-sanctioned violence, in a way that many white Americans—including white evangelicals—often don’t understand.”

“The stakes are even higher, though, morally than they are socially. If we believe that every person will stand before a Judgment Seat, we cannot then stand silently when we see injustice.”

THIS post by Jo Saxton brought me to tears.

Yet as I prayed with some sisters last night, as I stared at the ceiling in the early hours I’ve been thinking and wondering what God calls me to in this moment. What he calls each of us to in this moment. I’m thinking of Jesus in Luke 4 where he proclaims words from Isaiah 61, speaking of good news for the poor and sight to the blind, freedom for the oppressed, release for the captives. And then his words, ways and works demonstrated his proclamation all the way to the resurrection. I’m reminded that I’m his disciple, his follower, learning to put into practice the life he lived…I’m thinking again of what Jesus meant when he said we were salt and light, engaged, involved, transformative. I’m thinking of Isaiah 61 and oaks of righteousness who restore places that have been long devastated.”

Loved THIS post by Glennon Melton…what we do and say right now really does matter in ways we may never understand.  I tell my kids almost every day what the Bible says about our words…they can give life or death…our words are so powerful.

“What we do and say right now matters. Will we respond with hate and fear? or shared grief and love? Ending cycles of violence starts with us in word and deed.”

THIS article talks about how we can’t blame the Black Lives Matter movement for the Dallas police officer’s deaths.  So good.

“Prior to the shooting, the protest on the streets of Dallas was peaceful and controlled. It was led by protesters who spoke out against the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. The deaths of these black men, which happened on consecutive days, catalyzed outrage and prompted protests in cities across the country. However, just because the movement aims to end police violence against black lives does NOT mean it encourages violence against police by black people. Black Lives Matter has never, ever insinuated that other lives don’t. And dismissing the movement’s real agenda ignores the torment and terror protesters faced Thursday night, too.”

Lauren Casper’s post HERE is crazy good.

“Battle lines are drawn and friends and family step firmly to their “side” while screaming at the other. We don’t need more enemies. We need more love.  Friends, not only is it possible to be deeply grieved by both the deaths of Alton Sterling & Philander Castile AND the deaths of 5 Dallas police officers… it is necessary. We belong to each other.”

THIS from Nate Homan brought hope.

And as a momma of 3 black children these two articles made me weep.  Please take the time to read and hear a different perspective than you might have heard before or even thought about.

Black Moms Tell White Moms About the Race Talk

Death White Parents of My Black Child’s Friends: I Need Your Help

Thank you again.  I hope you know I sincerely mean that.  You don’t have to visit my small place in the inter webs.  You don’t have to read my thoughts, feelings and words.  So truly, truly…thank you for doing so.  Means the world to me.


  1. Allison says:

    Thank you Laura! I want to bring YOU a plate full of homemade cookies. I have three boys around the same age as your children and I have been struggling with how much to tell them what to say. I’ve been struggling a lot lately with the state of the world. I appreciate your message of love. You and your family seem wonderful.

  2. Hi Laura, I’ve read your blog for a few years and value your perspective so much. I’ve read the links from your post and hope you can help me understand. What would you do to change things? I have a brother-in-law who is a police officer in Las Vegas who selflessly puts himself in harms way for black lives daily and loves them. I believe with all my heart there are far more good cops than bad ones. It hurts my heart to see him villianized. I am not choosing sides but am sincerely asking what would you have them do? My sister prays every day that her husband will come home alive. I’m just scared and tired Laura. And if I’m being honest, I just want one of your choclate chip cookies. Thank you for allowing me to read your blog, it has brightened and inspired me so many times. I will echo your sentiments and pray that Christ will come quickly and put an end to this madness.

  3. lkelley says:

    Heather…First, thanks so much for your comment and being willing to dialogue about this. Second, we are so thankful for our police men and women. We take them treats and write them notes yearly. I have told my children several times this week how not all police officers are bad, but just like humans in general they are sinners and can make horrific mistakes. And I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be the wife of one…the fear, stress, anxiety…can’t imagine. Third, I won’t pretend to have any answers other than Jesus. I too am just scared and tired. I’m right there with you.

    As a momma of 3 black children I will say the most hurtful thing is seeing friends, family and strangers choosing sides in this matter or choosing to say nothing at all. I saw this quote recently “You can truly grieve for every officer who’s been lost in the line of duty for this country, and still be troubled by cases of police overreach, Those two ideas are not mutually exclusive. You can have great regard for law enforcement and still want them to be held to high standards.” Racism is still alive and rampart…it comes down to an individuals heart and character. I long for a compassionate and empathetic world that can listen and grieve together.

    I would totally recommend reading Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson…changed my world and gave me such a new perspective when it comes to the police system, prison and racism. Also this article has some staggering statistics about police training and racism:

    Again, thank you for being willing to dialogue about this and I’ll drop you a cookie in the mail 🙂

    • The links you attached were uncomfortable to read…thank you. I’ve found when I get that feeling it’s important to jump in and face it. I do tend to see through my own narrow view and I thank you sincerely for your kindness to my non understanding.

  4. Heather says:

    The last two days have been so so hard, but you have done a wonderful job expressing your feelings which I’m sure reflect the feelings of many of us. You do such a wonderful job with your children. They are lucky to have you. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Andrew Peterson(singer, song writer, etc.), but he said a wonderful quote one time I’ll never forget, which I think was originally from Mr. Rogers. “The world is a broken place, and children know bad guys exist. It’s our job to show them the good in the world. When a tragedy happens be sure to point out all of the good people are doing as a result of it.” That’s not word for word, but you get the point. You are doing a great job of being one of those people doing good in the world, and showing your children the love of Jesus. I’m a mother of two little ones and I want to hide them in a bubble some days. I pray for our broken world and that Jesus keeps them safe.

  5. Your posts on Instagram were my first inking that something was up. I don’t watch/read the news regularly for a lot of reasons (mainly too tiring weeding through all of the crap that is supposedly “news” here in my state and country). Thank you for your willingness to speak out and speak up. We want to make so many things an either/or when they should be both/and. Black lives matter. Police officers lives matter. My prayer is that through these horrible acts God will work for good, as parents like you and me and so many others take the time to talk to their kids about this, and as our criminal justice system works to make changes to fix what is broken. I am sure we will see more videos though until they do.


  1. BLM Vigil says:

    […] Friday we woke to the Dallas shooting and decided how we would not choose sides, but would stand with both groups of hurting people.  Our way wasn’t ground breaking or life […]

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