In light of all the news about the racial tension in our county that is being shared -- tension that has always existed and sadly will always exist in some level -- I wanted to share some thoughts. My heart has been saddened and burdened by all of the recent deaths that were senseless and unimaginable. As a woman of color who is married to a white man and is the mother of a two brown children, my perspective has many lenses.
In praying through how to respond to these news stories and how to honor the lives of those who have been murdered, these "four Fs" are the things that can keep us all deceived.
"I'm so tired of this nonsense. Why won't THEY do something about it?"
"I am so done with these selfish people whose eyes are so blinded."
"I cannot even process this injustice because I feel numb inside."
"____% of Blacks are killed by other Blacks."
"Only ____% of police brutality harms people of color."
"____% of crime in America is committed by Black people."
"My husband/son/brother/friend is a Black male and I am afraid for his life."
"My best friend is Black and I don't know how to talk to him/her about these issues."
"I can't speak out against these injustices because I'm white and I don't want to offend anyone."
"When Democrat leadership is in charge, they will get something done about this."
"When Republican leadership is in charge, they will get something done about this."
"If we just don't talk about race and are color-blind, we can all get along and it will all be fine."
All four of these Fs can only be processed with the TRUTH of God's word, which says:
"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them." - Genesis 1:27
"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." - Ephesians 2:10
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold...Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” - Ephesians 4:25-27, 31-32
We need facts AND feelings to help us process our fears and false hopes.
White brothers and sisters: Take the time to ask questions and enter into conversations about race with your Black brothers and sisters. If you don’t have friends who look different than you, put yourself in spaces where you can learn. Don’t believe the lie that just because you’re white, you have nothing to offer and nothing to say. Also, don't feel guilty about your privilege, but do what you can to address generational sins and unhealthy attitudes.
Black brothers and sisters: Know and believe that the God of the universe is who decides your inherent worth. Don’t believe the mainstream media that wants you to live in fear as a victim of the oppressor. Walk hand in hand with your Black brothers and sisters to enact change in our community and address generational sins of our race. Don’t believe that you’re the expert and you aren’t racist just because you’re Black.
To all of my brothers and sisters in Christ - Black, white, and brown - let us know that there are awful acts of violence occurring everywhere. There are people’s names we do not know because they didn’t make the headlines. This issue is not political and it’s not even just racial. It’s spiritual. It is evil.
Perhaps the greatest advice I've ever been given was by my wise and gentle mama: Do your part. You are accountable to God for your actions and no one else's. So use your voice as an agent of change and peace. Advocate for others. Serve your community with humility and kindness. And pray for unity and the swift return of our King Jesus.
*Images from @ohhappydani on Instagram