This White Girl is Listening
Those that know me well know I do not post about political topics and the reason is I find they cause more division versus one side trying to understand or learn more about people’s opinions that are different from their own. However, this morning was a different experience that has led me to share in hopes it might create change or potential solutions to a very real problem in America today. This article is for white Christians who claim to love God and others. It is also for anyone who is longing for unity and peace in our country but is not sure how to do your part. I pray this article, which is God inspired, will be for everyone actually who has ears to hear not just those longing for unity.
So this morning started with me waking up thinking about my to do list, did my daughter get the due date right on her project or is it due tomorrow, how are our finances, etc. I went to do my bible study with a cup of coffee in hand and journal which is normal for me on the weekdays. The bible study was about being self-centered versus God-centered. I read the list of how a self- centered person thinks and acts versus a God-centered person and after 18 year of being a born again Christian I was pretty underwhelmed by my progress so far towards living a God-centered life but is was an awesome word and conviction about how I want to live. I then went to get ready for the day and a random incident came to my mind that had nothing to do with my to-do list or my quiet time with the Lord. Those of you walking with God a while know these random thoughts are typically not so random and the Holy Spirit is talking to you or prompting you in some way. The incident had to do with a work situation I found myself in many long years ago and frankly have not thought about since. I was newly promoted along with my peers and my boss. We were the leadership team for that office. The issue was our newly formed team was clearly divided and there was no unity. One department felt undervalued, overworked, no one cared or was even listening to their concerns or needs. They also felt the other department was treated differently, got all the resources, whatever they wanted and were greatly valued- they were the “privileged” department so to speak. The “privileged” employees, which included me, and the leader thought the other department just didn't get it and were taking things personal unnecessarily. Like why cant they just get over it and see no one is privileged here ; it is just the nature of the business. They were truly the problem in our “privileged” eyes and they needed to change or we would never be a great and effective team. Of course, as any good leader would, the leader wanted a unified team and none of us were really happy or satisfied with the team.
What happened next was certainly not what I expected as a member of the privileged department(because remember this was the other departments issue not mine). I found myself praying and having a lot of quiet time hearing from the Lord that weekend. The Lord specifically opened my eyes to see things like the other department saw them, to feel what they must have felt every day at work in that environment. I walked a mile in their shoes as God revealed things to me. Then He told me I needed to bring this up in the next team meeting. Well bringing up what God spoke to me is not exactly common every day practice in corporate America business meetings but I decided to be obedient. In doing so, I became the voice for those who had been trying to be heard for a long time. Somehow it coming from me as God spoke through me, had a different level of influence. I was able to admit how I was wrong and we were wrong and that there were things we could do and say differently to value the other department. My leader was very receptive as well and change began to happen as we worked together in unity more and more over time. It did not happen overnight and was not perfect but it made coming to work every day more pleasurable for all of us and we were a team finally.
Why that story this morning God after all of these years? Because it so parallels with the issues regarding race today in our country. One group feels very justified about how they see things and what they feel is right and they are not the problem. The other group is crying out and even acting out because they are trying to be heard. So what difference can you make you ask or how does this apply to you? Maybe you think you are already doing everything you can as a privileged white person. Maybe me calling you privileged is offensive to you even. Maybe you love others really well despite the color of their skin and have a lot of black friends.
My challenge to you is to spend some time with the Lord and ask Him to show you what it is like to live as a black American today versus assuming you know from your life experiences and what you see from your lens. Ask some of your black friends what it is really like and listen putting yourselves in their shoes. Then learn as I am from the example at work. I was not the leader nor was I in the poorly treated department yet I was able to be a voice of influence that had an impact the other department NEVER could have no matter how loud they got or how they acted. You may think you need to be a pastor, the head of the police department or politician to make an impact or influence those around you but you don't! I am simply saying just start listening and then let God prompt you how you can be a voice and make a difference. It may create a crisis of belief where God asks you to do something that is scary to you but that is OK. Will you be obedient?
The key is more of us white Christians representing Christ and His love to the world, need to put ourselves in black people’s shoes and stop trying to prove how right we are or defending what we believe to be true about things going on around us. I wont even argue that you are wrong or it isn't true BUT guess what else is true? Their pain and fear is real regardless of whether or not you agree with how they are handling it. I am speaking up today though it may offend or anger people or cause them to unfriend or unfollow me. I am speaking up out of love for people and this country and in obedience to God. This white girl is listening and I am so sorry. Every black person that reads this I want you to know that you are loved, you have such a precious and priceless value, you matter and what matters to you matters to me. More importantly you are loved by a Heavenly Father and you matter to Him. He made you with a purpose in mind to do great things. I am for you not against you! You don't deserve to be called names because of the color of your skin. You don't deserve to be prejudged like some sort of criminal because of the color of your skin. You deserve to be treated like sons and daughters of the most High King!
For everyone else, for those who have ears to hear, may you hear this and may God do a mighty work in you and through you as you listen and obey.