What a difference a day makes.
Shortly after punching the keys on Part II of what is likely to be a running series of thoughts and ponderings on this topic during this time, I am back immediately with a third installment.
The reason? Well, it's simple - church. (Virtually) attending Sunday service and the dialogue that was discussed this morning was definitely needed for me, and really, for many. The outlook had several pastors (three black and one white) in a round table discussion for the Sunday message regarding the sequence of events that have transpired over the past twelve days.
The discussion was honest, didn't pull any punches, and also, was rooted in the word - which is really what I was curious about. How exactly does faith fit into this time? In the current constant discussion surrounding race and equity, often forgotten in this entire ordeal this week (as if we need more things to unpack in the discussion) is that of intersectionality. How does our faith play into this time? How does our socioeconomic standing affect our thinking at this time? How does our marital status play into this? Do we have kids? And on, and on, and on.
Without getting too far into my Sunday church experience, my biggest takeaway was Romans 12:21.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.The scripture really pierced my heart and held me accountable for my thinking and emotions throughout the week. In such an emotional time filled with grief, sorrow, struggles, empathy, and yes, anger, it's hard not to be overrun by a revengeful heart in allowing my past experiences, the current injustices, the video that was indeed George Floyd, and yes, even those who STILL refuse to hear or affirm our cries, throughout all of it.
I'm also reminded of the story of Joseph - who was persecuted and wronged for so many years. Yet, he still found room for compassion and devotion in his quest for justice, and also, in his daily life.
It's so easy to fall into the trap of vilifying those who mock the protests, who refuse to acknowledge the occurrence before you, or to outright want to return those feelings of being marginalized and dismissed - as retribution, rather than in advocacy for change. It hurts. And that's the world we live in.
It's a very thin line, to be honest. Becoming vulnerable in this time is necessary, and with that carries a lot of baggage that comes out of the closet as well. And often, feelings have been tightly packaged and hidden in that baggage for years. There are feelings you forgot you harbored or even experienced. It becomes very easy for you to mirror the evil that you speak against so passionately.
I wanted to share this because it is so very important to recognize that very thin line in this time. What white people are finding out is that this baggage is heavy, and it weighs so, so much. Always has. Their closets too are filling up. And in an odd way, we all should have filled closets as well. And at times it can quickly fill you with rage, with discontent, and many other feelings that can be troubling to the heart and can distort the message for change, and for justice.
I want justice. I want equality. But, I also want to do it through God's way, and in a way that doesn't change my heart into that of what I speak so passionately against. God is just. Always has been.
I urge you to be aware of that line as well. Don't be consumed with the evil, overcome it with good. Continue to fight the good fight, stand against racism, and be sure to "call in" those who don't or are blinded in their own privilege.