It’s been some time since I posted on my blog. I have been compelled during the events of the past several weeks to do some deep personal reflection. I wanted to share what I have reflected on, and what I will do. I also wanted to share some notes from a conversation that encouraged and enlightened me and might do similar for you as well.
Guilty of temporary disgust at glimmers of systemic oppression
Guilty of momentary allyship rather than committed companionship
Guilty of celebrating diversity of community but not recognizing the disparity of each person’s opportunities
Guilty of sheltering in comfort, rather than exposing myself to different perspectives
I am privileged
I am a work in progress
I am an ally in training
Seek to understand through education and conversation
Use my privilege to be a voice for those less fortunate
Listen more than I speak
To my black friends, colleagues, community members: I applaud your strength every day in every way. I see you and I stand with you. Black Lives Matter.
“Jesus stood for people that others didn’t stand for. He stood by people that others didn’t stand with.” - Steven Furtick
I found this livestream from Pastor Steven Furtick & Pastor John Gray titled “Become The Bridge” very good. I encourage you to watch it. Here’s some takeaways and quotes:
Sometimes to stand-up you have to first sit down
Silence is agreement. It’s not about race it’s about justice. Speak up.
Treat the alien and the stranger among you. “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.”- Leviticus 19:32-34
If I celebrate the diversity of my church but never recognize the disparity, that’s hypocrisy.
Often times we see the image not the substance.
See the world through the lenses of grace.
Step into other people’s reality to feel what it’s like to be them.
If there was empathy, then we wouldn’t see this lack of humanity.
The idea of diversity versus inclusion. A lot of white pastors have black people in their worship team but not in their leadership. Do you have diversity in your leadership?
You’ve got to be able to embrace the totality of me so I can trust you with my soul. Because I’ve been carrying this pain for too long for you to be silent about the blackness that I have to experience every single day.
You can’t heal this at the legislative level. You can’t pass a law to heal someone’s heart. Only the Holy Spirit can heal someone’s heart.
When you lead it can’t be political, it’s personal.
Disparity is as dangerous as denial.
It might come out wrong but at least we’re talking. We’ve replaced this ability to converse with clicks and comments.
There are unbiblical actions in the Bible. Psalms where David Says things like “bash my enemies children against the rocks” - God allowed the human experience to exist in that way, like David’s personal journal without judgement and included it in the Bible so thousands of years later we can know it’s okay to be angry and do not sin.
We need to be okay to have the conversation and not shred each other’s character. White and black people are not monolithic.
When you’re in pain, the first thing you see is what you remember.
Jesus said things that threatened the establishment and got killed for it.
Don’t bring my god down to your frame of reference
Expose yourself ... can’t take my perspective from the view of people who don’t look like me from CNN
You are the light of the world means don’t be ignorant
Just because I haven’t experienced it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist
Your presence changes the system
There’s an intentionality to diversity conversations
Guilt is not a strategy
Do we know the difference between guilt and repentance?
Repentance is change of direction in the Old Testament and change of your mind in the New Testament
All must ask, “What is in my heart about Black people?” If we’re going to change our minds we need to acknowledge what is there
Sin of omission - silence is co-signing the injustice
We cannot absolve any community of responsibility
This conversation should be the starting point of reconciliation
Must educate yourself and have conversations
Unity is it uniformity
Compassion is core to empathy