My purpose in starting this blog was to document leaps of faith in following what God has revealed to us and tell stories about my life. The whole idea of ‘leap before looking’ is that you don’t have it all figure out, but through faith you take that ‘leap’ and do it anyway.
I can’t continue to blog and tell the stories as I had planned, though, in the midst of all the chaos that is in the world right now. 2020 started out as a year with such promise, such vision and expectation, as most New Year’s start. And while that promise, vision, and expectation is undoubtedly still there, it looks quite different than anyone could every have expected.
The coronavirus pandemic alone has been enough to cripple the world and it absolutely has. I personally have experienced tremendous loss in my family and the families of many friends through the virus and other illnesses this year. I know that most of the world has. And now with the recent injustices against black people, I cannot sit by and not respond.
My pastor made a profound statement about how we are not just to ‘respond’ to what’s happening but to ‘take responsibility’ in whatever way we can. So as a white woman in her 40s, having grown up in the South, and making the choice to move away, pursue my dreams, and experience life differently, my perspective of the world has expanded to see and include people of all nations, colors, and ethnicities in my extended family, as my brothers and sisters in Christ. I have tried my best to live the way Jesus has called us to live – to love God and to love people.
I watched a powerful interview that helped me understand that these injustices, this racial tension has been prevalent for centuries. This interview between Christine Caine and Dr Anita Phillips changed my view on how react, respond, and help restore relationships with my black sisters and brothers. I have more compassion, and am not afraid to have more honest conversations with people who don’t look like me. And to truly listen. (Click HERE to listen to the interview.)
I admit, as we all should, that none of us get it right. I have messed up many times in my language and actions towards others and have lost friendships more times than I can count. I am truly sorry for not listening and hurting others and for being silent in situations where I could have spoken up. Praise God for His grace and mercy, new every morning!
When I woke up today and saw the #blackoutTuesday posts, I was unsure if I would participate. The idea was to post an image of the color black on social media platforms for solidarity. By posting a blackout image, this would stop our personal agendas and promotions and put the #BlackLivesMatter movement at the forefront of people’s minds. Honestly, I didn’t know if my post would make a difference. I did post. I believe my voice makes a difference. I believe there will be justice for the murder of George Floyd. I support the peaceful protests and pray that the people’s voices are heard and rightful action is taken.
I have been praying for what my responsibility is and I believe it is this: love everyone, listen to their stories, empathize and encourage, and pray. The problem of racism is far greater than one person, but if we all do our part to use our voice in a positive way, and take the responsibility for what we as individuals can do, we will bring change to our world.
If we take the time to talk to one person who is different than us, we can start to understand and support one another in new ways. It starts with a conversation, an open and honest conversation where there is no judgement or condemnation.
Being aware of what’s going on and drawing attention to the problems of racism in the world is acknowledging that it affects us all and when we each can take responsibility and respond differently than we have in the past, we can all do our part.
Let’s all take this LEAP together.