As I scrolled threw Facebook late Monday night, my heart began to break a little bit. I was appalled at some of the comments I read in my feed. My heart ached over certain responses. These recent events are just about Darren Wilson and Michael Brown, but are a picture of a great reality. The comments flying all over social media have evidenced that greater reality. For days, I have been trying to find the words to express what I see, what I feel, what is real in the face of all that is flying about in response to these current events. These are the simple words I have.
Once upon a time, I lived in the West, studying the great names of the Civil Rights Movement as though it was something of the past. Then five years ago, I moved out here, to the south-ish-midwestern state of Oklahoma. And I learned quickly that the Civil Rights Movement is not something of the past. To think it is a thing of the past is to ignore reality. Once upon a time, I just didn’t know. I was blind to the reality of racial division.
But now I do know.
Back then, I didn’t know that there is still an invisible racial divide in many parts of the country. Not due to a government-imposed racial segregation, but due to a naturally occurring, often socio-economic, disparity. Or maybe that socio-economic disparity is not occurring so “naturally occurring,” but rather is the outcome of past realities that still haunt us today. One must consider this.
Whatever the case, what I do know today is that we still have a long road ahead of us toward true racial reconciliation. The events of the pats few days have made that even clearer. The comments I have seen on social media put a spotlight on the blindness that is still present in so many hearts. Yet, I find myself hopeful that this blindness may be limited. I read many other comments that show that there are many of us moving ahead on the road toward racial reconciliation. There are articles I have read these past few days that have given me hope. Hope that this blindness may be lifting if we will just see, if we will just truly listen to one another.
I want to invite you in to see. To listen. These articles will pave the way to seeing, listening, and beginning to understand, ultimately lifting blindness to our present reality.
Please do take some time to read:
“Ferguson and the Path to Peace” by Russell D. Moore (click here to read)
“How NOT to be a Racist” by Brian Loritts (click here to read)
The reality is that our nation is trending towards diversity. The church has no option but to maintain the same trajectory, not so much forward, but backward to her first century roots where the normal was ethnic diversity. A failure to do so will put us perilously close to being irrelevant to the changing face of our society.
– Brian Loritts