A letter from President Greg Christy

Northwestern banners hanging on brick pillars

As we see the brokenness in our world, President Christy recently shared this letter of lament, grief and encouragement with the Northwestern campus community.

Over the last week, our leadership team has been prayerfully grieving the horrific injustices suffered by George Floyd and many other African-Americans his death has called to mind. Simultaneously, we know many in our Northwestern community are grieving the tragic death of beloved friend and teammate, Jahbreel Rounds on Memorial Day. Jahbreel’s kind spirit and intelligent mind enriched our Raider Nation family, and we lament that his promising life was cut short by violence. Know that as you weep for him, students, we are weeping with you. And know, too, that as we mourn, the Lord mourns with us. Jahbreel’s death, as well as George Floyd’s, remind us that the world is not how God intended it to be.

Recent national and global events only magnify the sad reality of brokenness in our world. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered our lives in a myriad of ways, and nearly 400,000 lives have been lost. Our nation is in the midst of an anguished response to the brutal death of George Floyd and others who have met the same fate. The words “I can’t breathe” capture the experience of persons of color who suffer under the weight of racial prejudice and systemic injustice and who fear for their lives and the lives of their children. Oppression and violence grieve the heart of God and grieve our hearts as well.

There are no easy explanations for why such suffering exists in our world. In the face of pain, the Word of God calls us to lament the brokenness of the world, to tend to the wounded, and to address the root causes of injustice and oppression. We are called to both charity and justice. We are called to the ministry of reconciliation. These biblical responses are reflected in our college’s Vision for Diversity.

This week your Northwestern leaders prayed for all of you. We prayed for Jahbreel’s family. We prayed for George Floyd’s family and for Black and Brown brothers and sisters in our Northwestern family, in our neighborhoods and around the world. Scripture calls us in Romans 12:15 to “mourn with those who mourn.” We don’t have answers to the challenging issues that face our world, country, community or campus, but we have hope in the One who does.

We are listening for the Lord’s leading. I encourage all of us to assume a posture of humility—to listen, to tend to the wounded, to seek and celebrate the image of God in every person. As our Vision for Diversity states: Guided by the biblical narrative of creation, fall, redemption and restoration, Northwestern College strives to pursue God’s redeeming work in the world by courageously and faithfully engaging the fullness of our similarities and differences in our learning and living together. May it be increasingly so.

Come Lord Jesus.

Greg Christy
President, Northwestern College