I rub shoulders with people of different color every day.
In my neighborhood, post office, my grocery store, we loving call ghetto Kroger. Maybe not so lovingly... perhaps I need to rethink this and call it my neighborhood Kroger,
Security guard and all. They take care of me, they are kind, asking me about my day.
Recently, a man visiting suggested I should consider a safer neighborhood and last night a new friend asked if I was scared living where I live.
Short and long answer... NO.
I'm sensitive lately, desiring to be extra kind, courteous to my brothers and sisters of my neighborhood. I wonder sometimes how they feel about me. I offer kindness, respect, which I receive back, but I go out of my way... I have not walked in their shoes. I am sad... I am mad, for the way things are, for the fear many of them have for their children.
I am mostly pleased by our police officers in Nashville, who show respect and kindness.
Their job is hard. I have not walked in their shoes either.
I grew up in a town 80 miles west of NYC in the 70's.
I had black friends.
I went to a Baptist church who's land grew a tree that lynched a black man, one of only two cities in NY where this happened.
The church had nothing to do with it, but I always thought of it when I looked at that tree.
It made me sad. I did not understand why or how this could have happened.
My parents had black friends. I never heard an unkind word from their mouths about black people.
Why would I feel the need to write this?
Because, it was, still is, Lord no... reality. There is a divide and even the best of us, black and white, have a degree of prejudice.
We have cultural differences and we must strive to understand and respect one another.
We must stop saying, "those people"
Guilty as charged.
I dated a black boy in high school for a short time. He was quite beautiful.
I did not share this with my parents. I don't think I trusted them to be open to this.
He was a nice young man, soft spoken and kind.
He was killed a few years later in NYC working in security.
I look at our country and I wonder, how far we have come... or not.
More killing yesterday in NYC, this time two police officers.
Not helping the cause for peace.
"An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind."
Thank you Lecrae, for reminding us of this truth.
I hear people speak foolishness regarding why there are demonstrations, instead of taking a moment to think, look at what is happening.
Change shoes for a minute friends.
I know it's impossible because ours are so glued on, we have NO idea.... But people are hurting inside.
Throwing comments like, "Why? What's the point? Ugh, so dumb."
I am embarrassed by you.
We must pay attention...
We may not understand this... but pay attention and dig deep, search what is happening. Don't believe everything you read or hear.
Find out for yourself and don't throw around, "those people!"
It's not helpful.
Recognize that we have an opportunity to come alongside one another and validate that we DO in fact ALL MATTER. BLACK and WHITE.
I think of my church and our motto...
"Everyone's Welcome, Because Nobody's Perfect,
And Anything's Possible."
If my church and it's people truly embrace this, we will choose our words carefully and step up, not step on... we will lift up, not look away... and we will validate one another.
It's that simple.
because nobody's perfect,
and anything's possible.
We are all broken, and many of us exhibit a whole other realm of broken on the outside. We have not been loved well by those closest to us... but guess what?
We get to love well, because we might be the closest now and we are given that role...
And it might take 29 times to remind that broken daughter or son... but don't give up, because HE did not give up on us,
and HE has placed us here for such a time as this.
So, whoever it is that crosses our path, they are ours, to mentor, to love well, for a moment at a stop light, a grocery store, a restaurant, or maybe more. An opportunity to grow a relationship with, do it well... Because Anything's possible.
Don't miss an opportunity to love one another CHURCH.
BE the Church...
As Jesus taught us.
Be A Uniter