My church is very multi-cultural. We have all colors, shapes, sizes and backgrounds. This weeks racially charged events rocked us to the core.
My pastor, Jimmy Scroggins, addressed it head on from the pulpit. And in Sunday school we went after it even harder with the high schoolers.
It was awesome.
And at the end of the day, after talking to my grown son in the faith, Terryon….whom we were blessed enough to bring into our family through an inner city project we worked on 8 years ago….
I realized something I had never considered before.
If YOU have a problem…then I do too.
If you, as a black man or woman, a black family, a black young man, a black single mom, a black grandmother….if you have a problem…then I have a problem too. Because your problem with me, me as a white woman, me as in my race– then I have to take it to heart, take it personally, and see how I could possibly help resolve it.
And truthfully, I have NO CLUE how to resolve any of these issues. From slavery, to white privilege, to educational and wealth disparities….I have no idea what I can do, or what politicians should do, or what God would have me to do in any of this. But at church we discussed a way to start.
[bctt tweet=”We have to be intentional about reaching out and making friends with our co-workers, neighbors, and community leaders who are from a race other than our own.” username=”lyettereback”] We need real, open, honest, candid dialogue. If we can begin with DECIDING to stay friends after our conversation is all said and done… If we can begin this conversation, and ahead of the first words spoken, decide that we are going to love each other when we’ve exhausted the issues and done our best to make sense of one another, then we can go ahead and say the tough things.
Ask the hard and embarrassing questions.
Explain our viewpoints and our experiences that shape how we can at times perceive the world so differently.
Folks, there is no more room for hate. We have hate from the terrorists. We have hate for opposing views. We have allowed ourselves to hate and be divided into “us” and “them” and then we dehumanize, or at the very least dismiss, someone else’s heartbreak because of our differences.
Jesus said, “By this, all men will know you are my disciples…By your LOVE for one another…”
We have to choose love even if we don’t agree. Even if we see things completely differently. We have to PRE-CIDE (decide ahead of time) that we are just going to love one another. And then listen, talk, and work through this peacefully.
And pray. Lord Jesus we have to pray. This country, our people, our families and our communities are being ripped apart at the seams and the ONLY answer is to choose love. Pray. And take real actionable steps towards progress by reaching out and simply deciding to be friends. [bctt tweet=”Racism ends when we decide to commit to one another, ahead of time, to love one another and then work through our differences.” username=”lyettereback”]
I’ve had to have some really tough conversations with my children this past week. But now I am committing to have the tough conversations with my friends, neighbors, and loved ones of different backgrounds and racial heritages in our community so that I can learn to see the world through their lens and hopefully use any means possible to bridge the gap between the racial divides. Because if YOU have a problem…then I do too. And I love all of you enough to try and do whatever I can to make this a better nation for our children to grow up in.