One thing I want to start doing here on the blog is to write quick reflections when I see Shalom in “the wild” that reflects one of our manifesto points— podcasts, books, movies, music…whatever. I hope you like these quick posts and if you see Shalom in the Wild…Let me know.
One white with black sons.
One white and eager to understand.
As they talked about the history of racism— not just slavery but red-lining and mass incarceration, I kept thinking, “God, I’m so, so, so very proud of them.”
I used to not think there was a problem.
I’ve said more times than I’m comfortable admitting that:
“I’m color-blind. We should just all be colorblind. God is.”
“the black community needs to get over themselves and stop making everything about race!”
or and y’all please forgive me… I’m so disgusted that in my brown body I believed this:
“blacks are just as racists to whites! We need to deal with our stuff instead of expecting them to acknowledge something that happened hundreds of years ago!”
I know… I know…I know… I’m so sorry.
You see, what I didn’t know— because no one told me— is that:
God is not colorblind. When he looks at us he sees His creativity embodied. He doesn’t look past my bad body to my beautiful soul. No! He looks directly at my skin, the shape of my nose, and yes, even my hair and says, “it is good.” He does the same for you. We are his very good creation.
What I learned is:
Because I live in this body and for decades this body has been devalued, I can’t help but see things through race. I’m not being overly sensitive, I’m being honest.
And this is how I repented belittling the suffering of so many people, my people:
Generous in love—God, give grace!
Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I’ve been;
my sins are staring me down.
You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen
it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;
whatever you decide about me is fair.
I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,
in the wrong since before I was born.
What you’re after is truth from the inside out.
Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.
Psalm 51: 1-6 Msg.
I didn’t get a new life until I started living differently.
Asking uncomfortable questions.
Inviting honest feedback.
Reading heartbreaking news stories.
Throwing books across the room and pacing by it for days, then humbling picking it back up asking the Holy Spirit to show me His intention for my life.
I had hard conversations where my eyes were opened, listened to people who have done their research and put in sweat equity.
I held my therapist’s hands until that I realized there was a problem with race in America.
I mourned. I cried. I raged. And then, I got very still.
I once was blind by now I see.
None of this would have happened, if I stayed blissfully ignorant or belligerently inflexible.
Shalom happens when we face the cross and say,
“Not my will but yours, Lord”.
Not my self-protection, but the protection of Your image bear-ers.
Not my glory, but Yours.
Not my wisdom, or purpose, or preferences, or peace…but Yours.
The first step towards Shalom is a faith-filled one that requires humility as we walk uphill towards the cross. There sin is destroyed and grace abounds.
I’m learning that this is the most terrifying and important work of the gospel— reconciling one to another as we have been reconciled to God.
But, take heart Sweet Sista, it’s worth it.
Just around the bend is a place to stop and hold each other while we cry, and up ahead is a clearing to run around and let off some steam, and oh look, there’s a table the Lord has set for us where we can sit and break bread and let the mystery of the Eucharist heal our tender places.
Take and eat. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Shalom is as brutal as the cross and as beautiful as the love that kept Jesus there.
This is what I saw when three podcasters came together and said, “ Right now, I don’t understand, but people are suffering—not on my watch! What am I missing here?”
This is why I’m so freaking proud of them, right now.
You know, I wanna be made whole— who doesn’t, it’s our birthright! But what I want almost more than my healing, is for our next generation to thrive. I want them to launch well into the world— dropping shalom bombs as they go— filling the night sky with their explosions of love.
It starts with us, Mamas. We are the ones to issue the clarion call for restoration. It’s you and me, sitting our babies down and telling them the truth. I’m scared to do it? Are you? We shouldn’t be. Courage is our birthright too, you know.
You fierce, glorious, beautiful, you— can I promise to pray for you and encourage you a bit?
We can do this. Hey listen: If I can put the fear of God in a child that has the nerve to talk back to me and then I can terrify the enemy with my advances towards peace. You can too! I believe it. I’ve seen it. I’ve done it.
We are made whole to make the world whole. Wholeheartedness is our family’s most distinctive trait— like my son’s hazel eyes or my daughter’s curly hair. You look at them and know yep— they are Moores.
The world should look at us and say, “Yep, there goes those Jesus people.”
Yes, it’s scary. And saddening. And my hands are more than a little sweaty every time I talk about race, but what’s the alternative?
No, the suffering stops here. Do you see it? The Kingdom is breaking through the hatred and violence of this world, will we be courageous enough to grab our sledgehammers and knock down the walls that keep glorious healing for so many at bay?
No, not on my watch.
On Earth As It Is In Heaven,
#WeWillBuildBridges #NotOnMyWatch #OnEarthAsItIsInHeaven