The Murder of a Racist Heart
Let me start by saying this, I’ve never considered myself to be a racist. Not even close. So why the title? Because maybe in my heart, if I’m honest, there was some of it in there. Just because I don’t chant “white power!” and don’t make jokes about African-Americans or attend the local KKK cross burning doesn’t mean a part of me wasn’t racist.
By racist I mean, fearing a low income neighborhood because thats where “all the blacks live.” I mean, blaming the black community for it’s amount of violence and what most people would call hatred toward other ethnicities. I mean, getting annoyed with African-Americans and the entirety of their community for blaming the system and government for their peril. By racist I mean, assuming the black man or woman murdered by police or whoever was guilty and deserved it. By racist I mean, when I hear of another black man or woman gunned down in a low income neighborhood or elsewhere, I have no compassion, because well thats what happens in those areas.
Within the past year, we have seen way too many innocent lives of men and women of the black community snuffed out prematurely. The media loves to report on this stuff especially when a video goes viral on the internet. So we see it, we hear it, yet it doesn’t do a single thing for us. It doesn’t move us. We don’t break when we realize someone has lost a loved one. We try to find blame. We try to justify the murder of innocent people of color. Its easier that way. It doesn’t require us to feel pain. We don’t try to relate because of how common this is. We don’t meet them where they are and experience their truth. We tell them, “you can get out of it.” “Get a job.” “Well he/she shouldn’t have done that and he wouldn’t have gotten shot.” I’m 100% certain that if it was someone we were close to, that would not be the case.
As of recently, I have felt God moving me to compassion anytime I hear of a murder of any certain people, but mainly with people of color. In the past, I didn’t care. I got numb to the murder of innocent people of color. Until one day…
I was watching a report of yet again another murder of a black man by the hands of police. I was going to change the channel and Holy Spirit said, “watch this a little longer.” On the screen came a family member, with deep pain and sadness in their eyes. Then He said again, “can you feel that?” It was pain. It was heartache. My heart hurt for this family I had never met and probably never will. He said again, “experience their truth.” I began to feel the pain of it. God wanted to kill the part of me that wouldn’t relate to peoples pain. He wanted me to experience what He feels each and every time this happens. I even put myself in a place of being told to eat somewhere else because the color of my skin. Or stared at. I will tell you, I felt so dirty. So ugly. So unwanted. The person murdered or rejected is my brother, my sister, my mother, my father, my friend.
Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves…So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! [2 Corinthians 5:14–17]
This verse has set me free from a lot. The bloodline of Jesus washes away color lines. They aren’t just “black people.” They are my family. The same blood was shed for them as it was for me and every other human. They are not an inferior people. They are another avenue by which we can experience the Divine. We can meet God in them and see the fingerprint of a good God all over their lives. Not only as a believer in Jesus but as a HUMAN BEING, I stand with the oppressed. I must support the cause of freedom and liberty for ALL people.
It was only by the fellowship of Holy Spirit that my racist heart was murdered. It was killed by compassion and by plugging myself into their story, whatever it may be. I experienced their truth and intend to with anyone experiencing oppression. There is freedom in showing compassion, instead of pointing the finger.
I write this now because it is Black History Month and it is absurd to me that people have a problem with this being a month of honoring such a people that have overcome so much. I’m pretty surprised that I haven’t seen very much in the social media world about it. No articles. No viral whatever. It’s been pretty quiet regarding this month. While much of the praise is for overcoming oppression and slavery, I want to honor their culture and the people that they are. There history is oppressive but the reality is that they bring so much beauty and life to America and the world. Beautiful sounds and colors. Harmonies and flavors that could have only originated in heaven.
I want to honor the African-American community. I am inspired by their resolve to never give up and to keep progressing forward. While we have made wonderful progress we still have a long way to go. I look forward to the day where murder isn’t a common thing. Call me naive or that my head is in the clouds but I believe its possible. We must, we must, we must overcome evil with good! We must learn to see with the eyes of love. We may disagree with much but if we cannot see God in the oppressed we are the ones that are blind.
Keep following the thread of the Divine at http://thepriestlythread.com. Please follow and share!