One of the common things I’ve heard people say they love about my music is transparency. I feel like that honesty allows for people to relate and hopefully be encouraged that they are not alone. As I was working on Empire, I remember being in a late studio session with Dirty Rice and Tony Tillman. Our session had come to a halt as we watched riots and protests erupt in Ferguson, Missouri. My heart was broken. It prompted me to write a song.

One thing that I’ve noticed in today’s climate is we are a forgetful people. All of us have experienced great hurts and disappointments. In those moments, our desire isn’t to be fixed or fact checked. It is to be healed. We just want the hurt to go away. We just want to be loved regardless of our mistakes.

The only way our nation will heal is if people begin to empathize with one another. We don’t have to agree, but we can hear each other out. We don’t have to understand each other’s hurt, but we can be there to console one another. The Bible tells us to encourage and build one another up. Hebrews says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet He did not sin.”

He felt our pain.

Jesus saw people who were rioters, self-righteous, and of all different backgrounds. He could have easily said, “They need to get what they deserve.” but instead He died the death ALL of us should have died.

I propose that we die to our pride. Let’s die to our desire to win arguments and seek to heal one another. Let’s empathize with one another. Let’s build REAL relationships with people that don’t look like us.

Download/stream: Derek Minor “Stranger (feat. Roz)”

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