Racism has seeped its way secretly into the highest levels of leadership and found a comfortable place to play.
It’s not just overt, it’s covert, and both are wrong.
Tokenism-based representation is how it looks.
Preaching about unity (especially to POC) while neglecting to disciple (yes, disciple) racism out of majority white congregations is how it looks.
Thinking that “I’m not racist so I don’t need to call out racism” is how it looks.
Saying that: peaceful, first amendment protected, responses to injustice and/or advocacy for wrong situations to be rectified legally, ”are a distraction from the gospel and create division” (while simultaneously being the first to attend “marches for life”) is how it looks.
Standing outside of the conversation about racism, instead of leading the charge against racism, is how it looks.
Not wanting to “alienate old white people” (who aren’t being oppressed in any way, just called higher) and refusing to stand with people of color in clear instances of injustice is how it looks.
I’ll add this observation; Most church ministries operate on tithes. I understand the tension.
I simply pray that if and when I’m in that seat, I’ll choose differently.
If a rich man’s tithe is bought with silence about racism, then let my church be broke.
2. People aren’t their actions.
People are responsible for their actions.
People should be held accountable for their actions.
But people are not their actions.
I thank God daily that I am not defined by my worst mistake.
People— even those that hurt us— are loved and called by Jesus.
It is temptingly easy to curse someone who does you wrong. Perhaps the only way to evade this temptation is to remember that every wrong doer is a child of God, in desperate need of His grace, mercy, and heart transformation.*
Never dismissing anyone’s responsibility, only framing my perspective in a way that postures my heart to genuinely hope that the purposes of God win out in broken people.
In the aftermath of hurt, my response cannot be a curse—
My response is prayer that remorse, growth, and empathy will be the fruit of this terrible action.
Why choose to pray for fruit?
Because if fruit isn’t the result, more instances like my own will be.
Distance and time help lots with healing.
Not every friendship lasts forever.
Not many can keep the entirety of their word.
Not all forgiveness ends in reconciled friendship.
Wanting someone to be held accountable doesn’t mean bitterness.
Moving forward doesn’t mean forgetting the past.
3. Nothing is wasted.
Even in the depths of sucky-ness (which many of you may be in because 2020),
God is present and faithful.
He is refining, developing, pruning, excavating, and transforming all the more.
Perhaps the greatest life change and growth takes place in the bowels of sucky-ness.
I’ll look back and thank God for what I was exposed to, good and bad, because it is all coming together, intricately and intentionally being weaved into the beautiful tapestry of my life.
He will one day and already is turning mourning into gladness.
He will one day and already is turning heaviness into dancing and praise.
God can use anything, and God redeems everything.