Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
Psalm 130:1-2 (NIV)
I’ve struggled to comprehend the events of the last 2 weeks. I’ve been disgusted, distraught, and grieving for black people and our country.
I don’t just want to talk about the problem, I want change. But can I do anything that really makes a difference in a centuries old system?
Before Amy Cooper or George Floyd, I read 3 books about race relations. I believe God was opening my eyes to the black experience. As a white mother I taught my children to look for a policeman if they needed help, never imagining a black mother’s rules:
Keep your hands visible at all times.
Don’t speak unless you are spoken to.
Don’t make any sudden moves.
Do everything you’re told to do. (from The Hate U Give)
Can I do anything that makes a difference?
I can start with me. I can identify my own blindness, my participation in the problem, my racism.
Am I racist? Yes, I am.
Have I seen a black person walking in my neighborhood and thought “What is he doing here?” Yes, I have.
Did I attend private school because the city planned to bus all 6th graders to a building on the edge of what we called ‘Colored Town’? Yes. My white privilege allowed me to avoid a mixed-race school.
Have I discounted the idea that a black person’s life is more difficult than mine? Yes, I have.
Why do I view a black/white interracial marriage differently than my own Asian/white one?
How many black friends do I have with whom I can discuss this? One.
The change starts when I recognize my deeply ingrained subconscious thoughts that surface as quickly as when I hop on a bike and remember how to ride.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV)
In The Color of Water, a young James McBride observed portraits of a white Jesus in his church and asked his mother “What color is God?” She wisely responded “God is the color of water.” What an insightful answer! God has no color. His color changes depending on the light. But further reflection yielded deeper meaning.
The color of God is the color of the face reflected in the water. Every human being is made in the image of God. Every single one of us reflects the color of God.
I’ve been moved by the daily prayers of my friend Lori Roeleveld:
Reconciliation and unity are beautiful concepts but, as Jesus demonstrated on the cross, they only come through sacrifice. Give us ears to listen to those who rage. Make us willing to work and to sacrifice our privilege, our time, our misconceptions, and our comfort to engage in the ministry of reconciliation to which we are called. We, all of us, have strayed from Your intended purpose for us. – Lori Roeleveld
Will you examine yourself with regard to racial bias?
Jesus initiates a different kind of world, one in which every person has value, and He instructs the church to be the change agent.
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