It doesn’t matter that I’m white. It doesn’t matter that my husband is black. Or that he, his parents and my father have spent their entire careers in the public service sector – on the streets and in the prisons – serving others at their not-so-finest hours with dignity. It doesn’t matter that my three young children are biracial.
It. Doesn’t. Matter.
Right now, what matters is that each one of us, as Christians, regardless of the color of our skin or our native language, remain committed to regular self-heart examinations.
How easy it has been to put my hands on my ears and silently scream ENOUGH over the last 10 days. Enough killing. Enough violence. Enough assuming. Enough criticizing. Enough sensationalizing. Enough generalizing. Enough screaming. Enough cursing. Enough looting. Enough politic’ing.
In times of crisis, I tend to watch, listen and soak in information, conversations and reactions. My mind quickly moves to a root-cause analysis exercise, often looking past the first hot topic making headlines and deeper into what and why something sparked. I think it’s the former reporter in me.
Then, I talk. Mostly to my husband and then to others. I’m always optimistic, early on, of an easy solution. But then reality settles in that, often times, there isn’t one when it involves the complex creatures known as humans, born into sin.
These last 10 days have been a rollercoaster of thoughts, emotions, reactions and desires. There is no doubt the devil is alive and well. And oh, how I know he is loving the destruction he has spun up in our great country.
Speak up. Get criticized. Don’t speak. Get criticized. Have a different perspective, get criticized. Have a lifetime of actions showing you support people that don’t look like you and say one wrong thing, get criticized. But isn’t that what happened to the single, perfect person who walked this earth – who also likely had dark-colored skin? No matter what He said, how He said it or in what context His message was given, He got criticized. And He never let the critics derail His mission.
As a wife and mother of three bi-racial children, I spend hours every day investing in their hearts. Talking about and showing them what being strong, tough and brave look like while still being compassionate, kind-hearted, hoping to mold them into a servant leader.
At four, six and eight years old, my two oldest identified that their skin looks different than mine several years ago, and at times different than others around them. And it doesn’t bother them, so why should it bother others? I’m not too sure there’s a black and white answer.
There are so many layers and topics of conversation about a deeply-rooted issue that predates anyone speaking out right now. So here’s where my mind settles, not just at this time with the latest news cycle of injustices, but all the time.
It starts from the heart. And then in the home.
Every day, I fall short of glorifying the God my family serves. There is a reason God put it on my heart to re-read the New Testament in a year starting January 1, 2020. I’ve ignored that calling some days, and my actions those days showed it. When I fall short and it affects others, I often times – not always – fess up publicly. There is something so freeing to talk about how imperfect I am to another person and seek forgiveness.
As we get better about self examining our heart, we can identify blind spots and work to improve them. I look at the heart like the foundation of a home. You can dress it up with the best Instagram post you want in a time of crisis, but, if there are cracks in the heart, in time, it will garner an examiner’s attention and, if not fixed, destruction is inevitable.