Racism and why I am quiet
Once again the media is full of stories of murder and crimes and 'black lives matter' 'all lives matter' rhetoric and once again the question is asked, why is the church quiet. I can't speak for the church but I can speak for myself:
I am not getting on the bandwagon because it is just passing through! In a couple of days something else will catch the media's attention and we are back to 'normal'.....
I am not vocal because there are already too many words spoken with so much anger and hurt that nobody is listening to each other any longer. Yes, there are some great pieces of writing and spoken word that makes it all a little clearer, but soon that will fade into the background again and what is left are only the people who have been and continue working for justice and equity.
In a few days you will still see the men and women who try to address the issue of racism, by educating, empowering, communicating, engaging and working towards Shalom.
In a few days the people who have always done it will continue to do it.
For thousands of years people all over the world have systematically promoted racism and just because America should 'know better' does not mean that we are better.
Our own brokenness makes it so easy to categorize, to create hierachies, to label. This morning I was reading in the Psalms (a poetry book in the Bible) and it talked about God asking us to have a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart. A heart that acknowledges our own brokenness and our need for Shalom (peace, wellbeing).
Only when my heart is broken for the things that break God's heart can I step into the suffering of others, can I speak out for the rights of others, can I be a change maker.
But making change does not happen in the press or demonstration or hatred or blaming... Change happens by giving people voices, by educating people of what is happening, by engaging in deeper conversations, by walking side by side with the 'other' and working together towards justice.
I was a the ALF (American Leadership Forum) this week and we talked about our belief systems. Here is a great illustration that makes us realize that so many times what we believe is not necessarily based on real data or reality.
Change happens when we go back to the 'data pool' and help each other interpret reality in such a way that we can then change our belief systems and work on the things that need to change.
So, I am quiet because my daily life deals with the injustices of this world and one of my main purposes in life is to "Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God". While today the media is outspoken and so are many people I just continue my work at a grassroots level and hopefully affect some system change in the process.