I swore I’d never write one of these on this blog, but before her name blows up all over the place, I want to make sure she gets this too. If you don’t know who Karen Fitzgibbons is, read this story.
My name is Zachary Horner. You don’t know me, but I’ve heard a few things about you. You posted a fairly insensitive post on Facebook that got you a lot of blowback from people on social media. I even know of self-professing Christians who shared your post in a very condemning manner. That upsets me.
So this is my attempt to share my thoughts with you.
First of all, I’m sorry that you’re receiving that response. No individual person should EVER be the target of the hate and vitriol I’m sure that you are receiving, no matter how horrible the crime. I understand speaking to you in-person in a strongly-worded way. That’s how Jesus operated. He confronted the Pharisees to their faces and told them where they were wrong. But the social media nuts who are blasting from their computer screens are helping no one. I’m also sorry that you lost your job and I hope that you can find a way to support yourself soon.
Secondly, I don’t agree with what you said. It is unfair for either side to blame any societal tension on one side only. Since we’re all sinners in need of a Savior, no one is free from blame. The cop is just as guilty as the citizen. The black is just as guilty as the white. God doesn’t see race. He cares for all His children. He particularly cares for the marginalized. And, let’s be honest, in some cities in America, African-Americans are marginalized. I appreciate your honesty, but I don’t appreciate what you were honest about. You didn’t explicitly say you were asking for segregation, but you said you were close to it. I hope that you never reach the point where you want it. I don’t know what it was that brought you to this point, but I hope and pray that the Holy Spirit works in your heart just as I hope He works in mine.
Third, Jesus loves you. Jesus didn’t come to heal the people who got it right all the time, He came to heal those who were outcasts, who were sinners, those who didn’t have it all figured out. I sincerely hope and pray that there are people around you, that there are Christians, black and white, who will genuinely and lovingly take the time to speak with you and share the Gospel with you. Whether or not you are a Christian already, the Gospel is true and needed each and every day of our lives. I hope that you hear the message of grace.
Lastly, I want to apologize for all the Christians who rant from behind their computer keyboards or even just judged you and condemned you based on what you said. I admit to you that I’ve done that many times. I’ve seen something someone has said on Facebook and shook my head in disgust/frustration. We don’t have to agree with what you said. I don’t. But we must love you. We must speak out against injustice and racism, but that doesn’t mean we condemn those who commit it. They are people who need the Gospel, like everyone on the planet.
Karen, I would love to talk with you more about this. Feel free to reach out to me if you get this. I’m serious. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
May the grace of God rush over all the criticism and condemnation I imagine you’re feeling right now. And may Christians, including me, love you as God loves us – in the midst of our darkest moments.
Grace and peace,