Yesterday I watched the George Floyd video for the first time in its entirety. I initially couldn’t bring myself to watch it, I avoided it because I didn’t want to feel the pain once again of watching this poor man begging and pleading for his life and seeing the coldness of satan himself.
My heart is breaking. The only thing that comes to mind is the bible verse “Jesus wept”.
After watching the video, I asked God “How can I be your servant today? ” He reminded me of the time that He unveiled my own racial prejudice and the journey of reconciling my heart back to his. I used to believe as a minority woman, that I was less than anyone who was of the white race. It caused much hurt in my heart that turned into bitterness.
In the weeks ahead, it is no longer something we can just walk away from because it’s uncomfortable, we as the bride of Christ need to really push into these extremely difficult conversations of racism.
Three things God taught me about my own prejudice;
1) Compassion and Mercy are the key attributes that will bring TRUE reconciliation.
It’s a generational curse, racism isn’t something we just one day as children say I don’t like that person because they look that way. It is something we learn. So when we approach these conversations, we have to understand how deep racist beliefs have penetrated generation to generation. It is deeply rooted. We are setting ourselves up for failure if we believe that one conversation will transform the other person. We have to let go of “expectations” and trust God is leading the conversation. The enemy will make us feel stuck and hopeless. If you feel this way, its not from God. We need to be aware that if we have expectations, it will lead us to give up quickly and be hopeless. We cannot give up easily, we must walk in compassion and mercy. Remember a racist is hurting. Racism is rooted in fear. Racism is created when someone is feeling less than or unworthy. We cannot take it personally, when we take it personally we have let racism define us and not God. We have to look at the other person the way God sees Him. We have to see a hurting person.
I love the words of Herbert Richardson in the movie Just Mercy. Herbert was executed after being on death row for 11 years. Brian Stevenson was working hard to get his case reversed because he believed he was innocent. Brian was unable to get his case reversed before the execution date. Mr. Richardson’s final words before he was executed was “I have no ill feelings against anyone.” I believe more than anything these are the words that will bring us together in unity and break this vicious curse.
In order to come together in unity, we have to help those who are hurting understand the truth of they are, they are a child of God and they are made in his image. Racism leads you to believe you are less than. Another thing Brian Stevenson (real-life Harvard lawyer portrayed in Just Mercy movie) reminded me of was that you have to get close to the hurt. I saw Brian at a leadership conference where he explained this is critical in the mission of Christ. He invested his all to get to know his clients and his opposing counsel. Guys you have to think about it, he transformed huge insurmountable generational racism that was a systematic issue in that time and age. I believe he opened a door that transformed the world. We have to look at how he approached it. He showed up at his opposing counsel’s house, it was uncomfortable, it was scary. There is one thing he did that I think we ALL can learn from. He didn’t hate the person, he looked the sin dead in its eyes and he spoke against it. He reminded the opposing counsel who he truly is and why he signed up to be a lawyer in the first place. He spoke truth to him about what Justice truly meant. The next day when they showed up in court to throw out the charges against Brian’s client, Walter McMillian, who was falsely accused of murdering an 18-year-old white woman and was on death row, his opposing counsel didn’t have a rebuttal. He spoke up in the courtroom and said he was in agreement with Brian’s plea. Everyone was breathless. Beauty will leave you breathless.
If you have not seen the movie Just Mercy, they are charging $0.00 right now to rent the movie on any platform due to current events. I highly recommend it.
2) Emerging ourselves in diversity opens our eyes to a bigger world. If you were like me and only surrounded yourself with people who only look, think and act like you, you can find it very uncomfortable to be around those who do not think, act or look like you. It is truly an uncomfortable feeling. God lead me down this path and helped me to die to myself every day until it became comfortable to be around others that don’t think, look, and act like me. I want to clarify that God pushed me out of my comfort zone to remove wrong prejudice beliefs I thought about others that were not rooted in him. The key in this journey is letting HIM LEAD you. God knows the condition of your heart, not you. You have to trust that He is leading you exactly to the place he wants you to be and with the people he wants you to be surrounded with.
3) Embracing diversity opens up a world of opportunities. If you can trust God to emerge yourself in diversity, you will begin to see the fear and negativity that is in your heart. It will be magnified the more you have emerged in diversity. If you continue to lean into Him, He will begin to remove the fear and negativity. When you successfully walk through this with Christ, you will begin to see a world of OPPORTUNITY and ABUNDANCE on the other side of it. Only after He sifts it out of your heart, will you see the beauty of His mission for your life and His kingdom. You will really be grateful that you let Him in to show you something BIGGER and GRANDER than our small little perspective.
The biggest takeaway I hope you walk away with is that it takes “GODLY CHARACTER” to walk in reconciliation. It takes walking in the UNIQUE beauty He blessed you with for transformation to happen. It is not about doing it is all about being!