Until Then: Some Thoughts from a Young Black Woman

Duck #89

“Come Thou long expected Jesus, born to set Thy people free
From our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in Thee…”
This song and these lyrics have been on my mind a lot recently. Today, in particular, they’ve been my prayer.  Before reading the rest of this post, I encourage you to listen to the song, maybe even look up the lyrics.

______________

Until Then: Some Thoughts from a Young Black Woman

What are you doing?
What are you doing?

What are you doing when you walk into a corner store?
What are you doing when your car comes to an unexpected halt?
What are you doing when you’re in the halls at school?
What are you doing in the pews at church?

Are you living in fear and acting out of it, or are you going about your day, unaware  of (maybe ignoring) certain realities?

What are you doing?
What are you doing?

What are you doing when the news says another husband and father has been killed?
What are you doing when inappropriate comments are made in jest?
What are you doing when you feel pulled between your ethnicity and your religious beliefs?
What are you doing when you think, “be polite and no one will assume the worst of you…”?

Do these questions resonate with you?

What are you doing?
What are you doing?
Are you looking for injustice or seeking justice?
Are you seeing what you want to see, or listening to the truth?
Are you loving your neighbor that doesn’t look, dress, or act anything like you? What about your neighbor that does?
Are you thinking before you speak, or are you joining the cacophony?
Are you asking the Lord for wisdom, peace, guidance, mercy, understanding, or do you not have time?

Have you thought about this?

You’re right. It’s not always about race, but race is an undeniable and inevitable factor. Black lives matter because all lives matter, but right now there is a community of people that do not feel included in the “all.” There is a community of people worried about getting pulled over or having car trouble. There is a community of people angry and confused and unsure of how to express their feelings constructively because they are tired. There is a community of people that needs Jesus, and not as a pithy phrase said by those that don’t really care. This community needs Jesus because it is in and through Him that true peace will come. But, to those of us that consider ourselves his followers,  are we not his hands and feet? This community that I am proud to be a part of and still learning how to care for is not big, or bad, or lazy, or insubordinate–as a whole–we are strong, beautiful, resilient, intelligent, and proud.  That’s what I was taught when I was growing up. We forget that at times, but can’t we all see why? Have you not at once forgotten your identity, where you came from, what the Lord has done for you?

If you are a white believer, what are you doing to encourage your black brothers and sisters in Christ? Your black brothers and sisters, period? And if you are a black believer, what are you doing to encourage your white brothers and sisters in Christ that are trying to understand? I know, I’m angry too, but responding out of such anger isn’t getting, nor will it get us anywhere. We know this.

Right now, being black in America (personally) feels both empowering and often terrifying. It’s beautiful, yet brokenness is in our midsts. I love being black. I love that I’m learning what that means to me. I hate that I’m ignorant of certain issues encumbering my own people and that I may even make excuses for that ignorance. But I hate even more that what I’ve seen in the media and what I’ve heard from certain people has been the epitome of negative: shame, fear, death…

We need to see each other.
We need to hear each other.
We must love each other.
Division is literally killing us.
All of us.

Things are far better than they once were, but that does not mean all of the mending has been done. We still have a long road to walk. But the Lord began a good work among the black community, years ago, and I’m confident that He will one day bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). One day, we will feast in the house of Zion, friends. We will sing with our hearts restored! All of us–Black, White, Latino, Asian…together!

But, I ask you, as I have recently and repeatedly been asking myself, what are you going to do until then?

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