A Pastor’s Heart

Heartbreak for Healing

A Pastor’s Heartbreak for a Nation that Needs Healing 

By Pastor Bob Kopeny, former law enforcement officer and Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel East Anaheim, CA

My heart is broken for the family of George Floyd and a nation ravaged by fear, anger, and inequality.

Three of his final words were “I can’t breathe.” Those three words were spoken as a police officer held him down with a knee on his neck even while he was handcuffed. Regardless of the outcome of the investigation of this tragedy, we can all agree it is a tragedy of epic proportions for all involved and even the whole nation.

My heart goes out to every person and their loved ones who live their lives sensing their local police officer or sheriff’s deputy poses a personal danger to them because of the color of their skin or their ethnicity. That is an injustice which does not belong in a society founded on the premise that all men are created equal by a loving Creator. Regardless of why this happened to George Floyd, it touches a nerve at the core of our humanity and elicits a cry for justice from the depths of our being.

Having a background in law enforcement myself, I can say how terrible it feels to wear a badge and have someone misrepresent the majority of the 800,000 officers who live to serve their community. Thankfully, most of that number, I believe, are equally repulsed by such police conduct. It sickens the soul.

Bob and Ricardo pray for lady

Pastor Bob Kopeny, CC East Anaheim, CA, left, joining with his friend Pastor Ricardo Bicet of CC Havana, Cuba, in prayer for a lady during Sunday service. Photo by Steve Shambeck, originally published in issue 77 of Calvary Chapel Magazine

Please join me and pray:

  • Pray for the friends and family of George Floyd. They need us now as they grieve his loss.
  • Pray for the citizens of Minneapolis who are watching this unfold in their community.
  • Pray for those around the nation who feel that this is an example of what they live with constantly and therefore feel that it has again happened to them personally.
  • Pray for those charged to keep the peace and protect the community during this unrest.
  • Pray for the wives and children of the officers involved in this tragedy. Imagine being them.
  • Pray for the soul of our nation gasping for a breath of justice, reconciliation, and healing.
  • Pray for justice to be “the measuring line.” (Isaiah 28:17).


Jesus Christ died at the hand of injustice. Unlike us, He was utterly innocent, yet His life was taken away by brutal violence. Jesus understands the pain felt by all who suffer unjustly in this life. He, however, died so He might forgive the sinner and heal the ones sinned against.

His cross is both the pardon for our sins and the cure for the anguish caused by the sins committed against us.

Jesus declared, “No one takes it [My life] from Me, but I lay it down of Myself” (John 10:18a). In essence He was saying, “I die that you might live.”

In other words, Christ chose to stop breathing so we might be able to catch ours. Let us look to Him, take a breath, and ask Him for His power to forgive and be forgiven.

© 2020 Calvary Chapel Magazine. All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.

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