This is America. Our melting pot has always been a pressure cooker and when left unattended and without proper respect of its power and potential, things were bound to blow.
There are always words, but today, they are hiding. Another night of tension. Another night of protest. Another night of emotional cries for change. Another night I fell asleep with the television on news coverage because I did not want to leave my brothers and sisters alone out there. Another night.
We all have personal stories of race relations, both good and bad. Some of our stories can go back to our first memories. It effects all of us. Even the ice cream franchise Ben and Jerry’s acknowledges the impact of systematic racism in our country. (https://www.benjerry.com/whats-new/2016/systemic-racism-is-real)
I will not go to my first memories, but I will fast forward to my freshman year in college. I was a pre-law major in a not-so-small, but very modest Christian College. One day, early in the semester, my roommate and I noticed that not only were all the black girls that were residents in our hall in one wing of the hall, but we were all on the same floor. I don’t know if it was intentional, but that left a bitter taste in my mouth. After that realization, both of us were on the offense for the rest of the year. We began to notice every little thing that could have been interpreted as racist.
I only spent one year at that school. My father was called to pastor a church in another state, more than 14 hours away. I didn’t want to be that far from “home”, so I moved with them and transferred to yet another private Christian College. But I was ready this time! When they gave me my room assignment, it read “Room 4-B”. I just KNEW that 4-B meant “FOR BLACKS!”. As ridiculous as that sounded, that is what I thought, because that is what I experienced. I spent a year fighting prejudices my previous year as a freshman and I would do it again, if I had to.
I walked into my room, that Saturday morning, and I saw my roommate was white! My eyes could not have popped open any wider! WHAT IS THIS!? To say I was shocked was an understatement. Not only that, but in 4-A, – I had 2 white suitemates! I thought that something had to be wrong. But it wasn’t. It was at that moment that God began to deal with ME and show ME the hang ups and challenges that He needed me to overcome in order to use me in His service.
God WON’T change other people like He WILL change YOU. The next four years – yes four years, because I decided I wanted to study my first love – music – instead of law. The next four years, God dealt with me and began to speak to my heart about racism. I didn’t know I was hurt, I didn’t know was angry, I didn’t know I was a victim and yet still guilty of the charges I placed on others.
God had to heal me with love and through love. It wasn’t until He threw me in the mix, that I began to open my heart to how beautiful God’s love can be. A beauty that is brilliant with color. All shades. All races.
God is not a Republican and neither is He is not a Democrat. He supersedes the boundaries of our nation! There are no walls that hinder His mighty hand! Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty! There is freedom. That freedom is in knowing that God loves the person next to you JUST as much as He loves you – NO matter what their race is.
My God is awesome in the Missionary Baptist Church, He is awesome in the Southern Baptist Church, AND He is pretty awesome in the Methodist, Presbyterian, and COGIC churches too! And right now, while most of us are sitting home on Sunday mornings and not in a sanctuary, He is STILL AWESOME and worthy of the GLORY!
I love LOVE and I want to see everyone live peacefully. If we would only see each through the eyes of our Savior, what a wonderful world this could be. But, until then – march on! I will not tell my brothers and sisters to ignore emotions that are real and justified. I’ve been waiting for this conversation. I welcome the conversation to continue. When the dust settles and voices are heard and acknowledged, then progress can begin.
POW-wow, Pearls of Wisdom
- Acts 10:34-35 says: “Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.” (NIV) How can we relate this scripture to what is going on in the streets of our country today?
- I challenge you to write down an experience when you felt wronged because of the color of your skin. Even if you only write a sentence or two about the situation -write it out! After you write it, fold it up and release that pain to God and allow Him to heal your heart of that painful experience!
- Place that folded up experience(s) in a place that when you see it, you will be reminded to pray for your brothers and sisters that are still experiencing the painful effects of racism.
-Traci D. Fuller, Pearls and Pretty Pens
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