When Generations of Pain Breaks.
I’m not sure that I have any qualifications to speak on a matter such as racism, systematically and inherently, since I have never experienced it in any shape or form. I won’t attempt in providing any remedies or excuses, I won’t say any “do this, not that” or try any “gotcha” tactics. All I want to say and feel like I need to say for my own sanity and for my own emotional strength is this simple phrase: I love you all and I want to listen and stand beside you.
From the deepest corners of my heart, I am beginning to understand the smallest fraction of pain that many of my black brothers and sisters in my faith have felt for generations. The grief I feel is deeper than any grief I have ever felt before. I hate the feeling I have because I know it is based out of evil and sin. I hate that so many people who have been created equally and with the same awe from the same fingers of the same God have been treated like second-class creation. I hate that when God said he made man and women in his image, we have ripped that in pieces and given it to who we think deserves it. I hate that we have taken the words of Jesus to love our neighbor as ourselves and distorted it to loving our neighbor if they look like ourselves. I hate that we have lost the beauty of each soul, the uniqueness of each eye. I hate that we hate, and I hate that we don’t love.
I’ve been saying this whole week that I am tired of trying to talk and make sense of things that I don’t know. So I reached out to the black Christian community that I know and asked what I can do. I know I won’t get it right and I know I won’t fix the issue alone. What I heard is that white Christians need to speak out against racism. Not merely say we will, not just say we will pray, but to be doers and not just sayers. We, I, have a duty to stand and call racism out when it happens because no matter what causes it or when it happens, racism undeniably contradicts the Bible, contradicts Christianity, contradicts Christian ethics; it contradicts the very love that each human was made to mirror.
The world around us is breaking, and racism is breaking it. It isn’t the “thugs” and it isn’t a conspiracy; it is generations of unjust racism and discrimination to our fellow brothers and sisters, our fellow humans and citizens. It is breaking because injustice can only go unsolved for so long before a fire is started to bring attention.
I don’t write to cure the pain I don’t understand, I write because I want to serve and better love my brothers and sisters. I write because I want to call other white Christians out of their comfort and confront the issues we can no longer deny exist. Our grandparents haven’t fixed an issue of the past and we won’t either if we keep failing to understand that it persists. I know as a Christian evil will always be until glory comes and that sin will remain until Heaven comes, but this doesn’t stop us from seeking justice for the ones who have not had it.
The unity of the Church is needed, not the pseudo-unity that we have seen from the past, but true union amongst believers. The body of Christ cannot function until all members are working in unison.
To my black brothers and my black sisters, I am sorry that it has taken flames to shine a light on generations of broken justice. I am sorry that “11 o’clock on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in the American church.” (MLK). I am sorry I have not told you that I love you enough. I am sorry I have taken 24 years to finally listen first rather than speaking first. I am sorry for not helping you with the weight you bear on your shoulders. I am sorry for the generations of pain that is breaking over you. I will do better.
“This is how we have come to know love; He laid down his life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” (1 John 3:16)