God has a family. His Word tells us He has a Son, and we who call on His name have been adopted into that family. It is a BIG family. Lots of variety here in His family. Red, Yellow Black and White–we are all precious in His sight, but what about our sight. Do we see each other as equal siblings? It is fairly obvious this week in our nation that we do not. Our Black siblings are hurting. They have been hurting, but even though many put on a good front, they are grieving in their soul. Proverbs 14:13 Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains. Let’s let our Black brothers and sisters get the attention and help they need because prejudice still exists (even though in my mind I hoped it didn’t). Economic disparity is real. Listening to the stories of my black sisters has brought me to tears. These are stories that happened to them and their children. Stories right here in the Pacific Northwest.
I will readily admit to ignorance. I am gaining a bit more wisdom as I dialogue with my black friends. A few years ago, I sat down with my friend Bernita. We had the most difficult conversation I have ever had with a person of a different race. We were not angry or hurt at each other–but I took the time to really listen to her. I laid down my “I already know it all attitude” and really listened. We had a dialogue. It gave me the beginnings of understanding where the phrase “black lives matter” originated and white privilege.
It is my hope to share an analogy I feel God gave me yesterday. As I was talking with my friend, Ava she mentioned that her father took her to the hospital when she was little because she had pneumonia. My mom took me to the hospital when I was little because I had my tonsils out. We were both sick. None of the other children in our families went to the hospital. We got the attention. In God’s family right now, we have some very hurting brothers and sisters. They need our attention and God’s attention to bring healing to their souls. To listen to their painful stories of discrimination and not try to justify and explain it away, takes courage. Friends, name calling still goes on. The N word is still thrown out at little kids and grown adults by strangers. This ought not be.
I don’t know why God created us to be different skin colors. It was obviously His plan. He loves variety. He loves all cultures and died for everyone. The blood of Jesus flowed for every skin, no matter what. He loves Asians, Latin’s, Mexicans and Ukrainians. I am praying that God’s people, who are called by His name will begin to honor their brothers and sisters no matter where they come from. Jesus prayed that we would be one, and that they would know we are in Him by the love we have for one another. We have a long way to go.
We need to examine ourselves in this light and ask Him to baptize us with His love. Repent of not loving like we should. Ask Him to teach us to love those who are not naturally easy for us to love. It is obvious that black people in our nation have not been treated fairly. Disparity over jobs, business loans and other economic issues is real.
I am sorry for the wounds people of color are still receiving and enduring in our nation. I am appalled by it actually. But I can only change me. If I can be a bridge to helping others understand this reality, then so be it. My friend is worried that her black son could be a victim like George Floyd. It has never occurred to me that my son would be in that situation, but my mother’s heart has prayed a lot for her son to be safe.
Part of my soul wants to be an ostrich and bury my head and say, “its not that bad”. I am sorry to say, it is that bad. I am sorry that discrimination and racism is a cross our black brothers and sisters have had to carry for far too long. The sin nature in all of us draws us toward prejudice. Jews, Native Americans, Irish, Italians and others have had their share (and still do in many places) of this cross carrying. It is time to honor one another, receive one another as God’s children and walk in peace.
God’s word has some very clear direction for us. The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9 We who name the name of Jesus need to remember we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. It is almost seems an impossible task, yet we can do it. I was on the tipping point of despair, discouragement and hopelessness this past Sunday. I listened to Life Church’s Sunday message about hope and I chose to apply hope to this situation. God has solutions, we can find them. It will help. Maybe we can’t, individually, touch every person of color in this nation, but we can love and listen to our neighbors. I know there are many disenfranchised classes in our nation–let’s begin by seeing, hearing and loving on those around we can. Do not focus on what you cannot do, but only what you can. As you do, you will find that what seemed to be a little turns into a lot.
Father, Please help us. Help our nation. I pray for my Black brothers and sisters who are carrying wounds from childhood where they were truly bullied, harassed, ignored or overlooked simply because of their skin. I pray for parents who have to explain to their children why things are different for them. I pray that we will stop an think before we stereotype groups that are not like us. I ask you to forgive me where I have inadvertently not understood the hard journey others have had to take or have added to their pain. In Jesus Name, amen