When Jesus Christ asked Peter, “Do you love me?” Peter’s replies, “Yes.”
Then Jesus repeats, “Peter, do you love me?”
Peter slowly replies, “Yes, I do.”
Lastly, Jesus utters his closing question, “Peter, do you love me?”
Peter, being profoundly touched, emotionally responds, “Yes I do.”
Jesus did not have to question Peter’s love ever again nor does Jesus condemn Peter. That wasn’t the point of the questioning. Simply, reflection, relationship, and personal growth were gained.
The power of symbolism and metaphor
“American flag/America, do you love me,” marginalized people ask. Quickly, the marginalized recognizes that they didn’t impact positive change with that question to its recipient. Why?! The American flag and Country (as land) cannot provide the verbal response needed to ignite growth. Therefore, the marginalized people redirect their question to the Americans who inhabit and inherit the land and who can verbally speak.
These Americans reply, “Yes we love our marginalized people.”
The marginalized asks again, “American policy makers and life changing decision makers, do you love me?” The America policy makers and life changing decision makers reveal that their “love” is merit and brotherly-centered, so if you have the credentials and favor their resemblance, their love is ignited, in which, they do not know merit and brotherly-centered love is not the deepest love one can show another human being or they have just forgotten Jesus’ definition of love.
Yet, these Americans reply, “Yes I do love you if you’re willing to conform or assimilate.”
With such response the marginalized should have given up and felt hopeless, but they hope for the best when Hope is hard to fathom due to the present situation.
Therefore, in faith, the marginalized asks, “American people, do you love me when you see blood flow out of me unjustly?”
Unlike Jesus’ most loyal and faithful disciple being able to give a sincere and quick answer to Jesus’ final question, the American people are still brainstorming their answer on whether they love the marginalized.
But when they do answer, I hope they would have the mental and emotional capability to acknowledge their silence as Peter acknowledged his verbal silence and physical denial in the heat of the moment of the injustice happening to Jesus Christ. With such acknowledgment, it enabled him to partake in a life changing conversation with a victim of injustice, which enabled him to see the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual affliction suffered by the victim. That then led to action, making Peter transform into a genuine advocate for agape love and social justice.
I’m one of the marginalized. Do you love me America?
I can’t take your silence; do you love me America?