I know this isn’t safe. Most of the times I have spoken out about the racialized state of our nation it has been met with silence, or counter arguments. And I get it. It’s a complicated issue. It’s uncomfortable for us who have the privilege of not having to deal with race every day. And anytime anyone makes a statement about race there are always going to be other angles and perspectives that justify a critique of the statement. And I realize I’m no expert. I’m not even a minority, so everything that I think I understand about the experience of minorities is rather new to me and second-hand. And it’s probably safe to say that I really don’t quite “understand” it, because I haven’t lived it. I come from rural Tennessee, a conservative, 92% white community. Once upon a time I was someone who didn’t understand what the fuss was about when the black students protested at our high school. Our mascot was a “Rebel” with a confederate flag and our football team’s fight song was Dixie. I never did understand until after coming to a more diverse community where I experienced being the minority at the local “Food for Less” (grocery store), and attended a school that patiently and lovingly confronted the majority culture (mostly suburban white kids) with the experience and perspectives of minorities. I really haven’t changed from who I was 8 years ago. I was always capable of empathy and listening, but I just wasn’t close enough to hear the voices of anyone who was different than I.
So my goal here with this blog is to provide a non-threatening opportunity for multiple ethnic and cultural perspectives and thoughts to be expressed and respectfully engaged and understood. There’s a type of communication going on in social media that seems to be further dividing. I want this to be a place in which we can engage in a deeper way, and not simply seek to reinforce our own perspectives and opinions.
Now the question remains, why would you want to take the time to understand someone so different? Why bother? Because of the love of Christ, and the spiritual reality that in Christ we are one people. We are one people with a unity that transcends culture, skin color, and economic class. We are family. And the spiritual bond that we have supersedes the natural bonds of blood and culture. I think that is a starting point that we all have to recognize. John says, “…if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” One of the most unloving things we can do is to dismiss the voices of our brothers and sisters because we don’t understand them. I don’t intend to give authoritative solutions to the problems in America. But I simply want to assist a conversation. I want to provide a platform for people of differing perspectives to be respectfully heard, for the love of Christ. I want to urge the body of Christ towards maturity, towards having God’s love perfected in us.
Please comment below with any questions that you would like to see addressed in this blog. I will do my best to find those who are able and willing to answer respectfully. And pray with me that we can share the humility and love of Christ as we venture into this conversation.