It’s been a while… sometimes there are no words that can adequately express what your heart is feeling, especially when the heart is conflicted and grieved. We live in a world where everyone has an opinion. We rather stand on that opinion than on truth! We have not learned the wisdom of Solomon, ” There is a time to be silent and a time to speak.” We fail to realize that although there is power in our words, there is also power in our silence and we must walk in discernment to know which is useful when confronted with the choice of the two. In this season, I have been silent in the face of all this racial tension. However, in my silence, wisdom has been speaking to me, guiding me, and showing me many things that I would have overlooked had I spoke too soon. I have been listening and watching what is going on in our country, social media, and our churches. My heart has been grieved!
This past weekend, I felt the longing to use my voice again to raise awareness on something that I must admit I have not been sure how to address in a society that many are quick to debate or attack instead of listening, reflecting, and trying to understand. Many desire to be right so they can stand in their position even if they are wrong. What happened to speaking and standing on the truth even if that means you have to stand alone or if it means that you have to admit you may be wrong? What happened to speaking truth in love and respecting each other regardless of our differences? When did our political stance give us the authority to disrespect, dishonor, and judge and treat people any kind of way? To post our opinions and belittling memes in the name of God? Have we forgotten we are to be imitators of Christ ? Are we not convicted by how we are misrepresenting Him to the world after He gave His life to prove what Love looks like even to those who did not agree with Him or honor Him? He took a stance – IT WAS LOVE ! He never compromised Truth for He was truth .. Yet He still demonstrated LOVE and WISDOM! He was not trying to be right He was trying to unite us back to the Father in Love and Truth! What is our agenda?
I attended a women’s conference this weekend, although it was for women, they invited an amazing interracial couple who has a passion, and has been charged by their convictions to see racial reconciliation in our country, starting with the church. I loved the fact that the conference leaders, even though the attendance was predominately Caucasian from what I could see, did not shy away from a topic that is so prevalent in our society today. I appreciated that they would address what they see happening no matter how uncomfortable it may be.
The couple strongly spoke about embracing our race which does describe us but not allowing that same race to define us. They encouraged us, enlightened us, and equipped us on how to have these conversations in our communities, especially within the church. You can’t have an impact on anything you are not able to acknowledge exist. They explained that we should know and understand that everything is not racist- that racism is having an idea that your own race is more superior than another one. That a lot of times we don’t realize that racial ignorance exist, which means that a person is unaware of possible offense and that there is no ill intent behind their behavior or language. Lastly, they spoke about racial insensitivity, where one fail to consider how his or her actions towards others affect them.
They ended by saying, we must to get comfortable with awkwardness because there are people hurting and it impacts everyone because believe it or not we are all connected in some way. I do agree that our silence as leaders will not heal those who are sitting silently broken and angry in our midst. We must create a SAFE place to discuss these issues through the word and heart of God. Needless to say, my heart was challenged this weekend. I along with many others were not just challenged, but given the opportunity to search our hearts, to look deep at what we believe when it comes to other races and repent.. and begin to ask God to repair the rooted lies that has shaped our views.
If that was not enough, I came home and had been desiring to watch a movie that I did not get an opportunity to see in the theater, ” The Hate U Give.” If you have not watched the movie, after reading this make time to do so. There were so many messages that if I spoke on all of them this blog would be a short book. What I can say is the movie and the conference stirred me… now is the time…. I can no longer shy away from addressing real issues that my race or any race may have endured or is still enduring. That there are times that I will be used to speak truth in love to those outside my race and those of the same race as me. I love people ! I will lie to say I don’t see race.. I see it…. but I don’t allow it to define people or me- Character should do that. We need to be able to listen to other peoples perspective and if we do not agree we can come to a place of understanding and respecting their position. Now if the position is rooted in hate that is another topic for another day. However, I will say we still have to walk in love, wisdom, and forgiveness. It is hard but it is required.
I will end with this… to not talk about the things that are going on in our society, especially when we know that some of those things are affecting and hurting our brothers and sisters, when we rather not deal with it because we are afraid of the backlash or conflict, especially when we can give guidance… it is irresponsible on our part. Now, if we are adding to the problem and not bringing hope, insight, truth, solutions, conviction, forgiveness, wisdom, and love then yes, it’s best to be silent and not allow your heart to speak out of ignorance, hate, pain, unforgiveness, self-righteousness- entitlement in opinion and thought.
The next time you have an opportunity to be a light within a dark conversation … Let your light shine! Love you all and Be Ye Encouraged.. A change shall come..