Someone shared a story on Facebook recently about an African-American woman giving her account of a racist stereotype she experienced while out shopping. The video was about five minutes long. The woman ended it with a statement that went something like this, “This is the life of African-Americans in America. This is what we deal with daily.” I thought to myself, she should speak for herself. As an African-American woman, racism is not my daily life at all.
I do not doubt there is tremendous racism in our nation. I read news stories online and it’s a shame the types of comments I read. Horrible racist comments from all parties. It doesn’t matter what the story is about, people find a way to include racist comments. Yes, some people are racist. Some people truly have deep hate in their hearts toward other ethnicities. Yes, some employers are racist. Some people in law enforcement are racist. Some people in politics are racist. There are some people in America who are racist! I get it. Now what? Some people hate their parents. Some people hate their children, their friends, family, neighbors. Some people hate God. But what should we do? Spend our lives battling what someone else hates? Again, I know it’s here. My entire family grew up in the south and lived through horrible racism. However, in my 40 plus years, I recall open racism toward me three times – all when I was a child. I’m not suggesting people have not been racist toward me as an adult. If it happened, it went unnoticed by me – because I wasn’t looking for it. I have an adult African-American son who drives alone all the time. I pray every day for his safety. I’ve taught him to be respectful to authority, and remind him if he’s ever pulled over to be respectful. I pray God would protect him from corruption, because I don’t doubt there’s corruption in law enforcement. But after I live and faithfully serve God, and after I pray for God’s love and protection over me and my family, what else can I do?
When we take the time to study world history, we learn slavery, corruption, moral depravity, oppression, is not linked to only America and one race. We should never forget the affliction others endured, but we also should not live in deep anger over it. God has never been okay with human suffering at the hands of others. People have been killed simply because of the color of their skin. Jewish people murdered because they were Jewish. Christians have been burned alive because they wouldn’t relent their faith in Jesus. All of this still happens today. But are we going to walk around like victims, or like Christ followers despite injustice? Are we going to pray for those who persecute us, or help the media spread hate all day long? I choose to pray for our nation. I choose to pray for our communities and government. I choose to pray for families and children to know and serve God. I choose to be an example of Christ, so others might see Jesus through me. So no, my daily life is not full of racist incidents. My daily life is Christ. I might be naive and that’s fine with me, but I happen to see the beauty of this world, and that’s because I choose to see Jesus Christ everywhere I go.
Lord thank-you for this world. We praise you for the sun, the moon, the stars and the sky. We praise you for the ocean, the mountains, the deserts and the valleys. We praise you for the snow, the rain, thunder and lightening. We praise you for orange trees that come in the fall. We praise you for land animals and sea creatures. We praise you for the soft breeze after a long day. Oh Lord, we have great power, yet we do not know it. We have great power to be hateful or loving. We have great power to see only bad – or the good. Lord help us to not live our lives as different people against one another, but as one race, children of God, loving and serving only You. In Jesus name. Amen.
Hebrews 12:14 “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”