My daughter was taking a test in school. Trying to answer the question as honestly as possible, Hannah filled in circles in front of both Caucasian and African-American. The next day when the test was returned, the circle for African-American had been erased. Frustrated someone would delete half of her ethnicity, she filled the circle in again.
I felt irritation the day Hannah relayed another incident. A teacher cornered her in a restroom and asked “Are you mixed, or what?” Startled by the question, Hannah simply responded, “Yes, I’m biracial. It was an unwise question framed inappropriately. That’s all. And yet I remember the indignation I felt.
For the past few days my thoughts have been consumed with the plight of my brothers and sisters of color and the excruciating pain they experience ongoing by things infinitely worse than insensitive comments. I found no words over the weekend to adequately express the deep sorrow of my heart. I did, however, resolve I would work harder to banish the unfathomable sin of racism. Every human is imago Dei, made in the image of God. Each life is both sacred and precious, a gift from God. All are image bearers of our Creator.
We start this journey of racial reconciliation by recognizing the depth of our own depravity and brokenness before God. Let’s get on our knees and ask the Father to examine our hearts. Does mine beat in sync with His? Not if I engage in racism, including subtle and/or silent. Study the Word. Do my actions line up with His commands? Not if I am an idle bystander letting injustice prevail. Do I truly love my neighbor as myself? It’s not just the voices espousing vitriolic speech that’s complicit. Let’s confess our brokenness, ask forgiveness and honestly seek to understand the hurt and pain of others. Let’s lean into Gospel proclamation because only the hope found in Christ has the power to radically transform hearts.
Written by Sandy Wisdom-Martin