I try not to think about it too often because of the pain it causes. But from time to time I remember overt racism from my childhood. I don’t ever remember seeing a rule – but I remember there being an unspoken rule that whites and blacks did not share a swimming pool.
Fortunately, I am not old enough to have lived through the days of segregation – but I still remember things like the swimming pool and that blacks and whites did not sit together on the school bus. Whites sat on the back and blacks sat on the front. It seems silly now but the pain derives from well – “that’s just the way it was.” I remember early in my ministry I went into the Post Office in Plains, Ga and an older African American Gentleman held the door for me and called me, “Sir.” I was in my early 30’s and he was in at least in his 70’s. The wrong person was being called “Sir.” It felt like it was 1960 and the world of segregation was still alive and well. I grabbed the door as he went out and said, “Thank you Sir, and I hope you have a great day.” I remember that day because it was the day my eyes were opened that racism and class-ism are still alive and well.
Jesus taught us that there is a kingdom alive and working in this world and that it will one day result in all people living joyfully in that kingdom. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn’t the first person to have a dream – that dream began with Jesus. It’s why Jesus lived among us and died on a cross for us – so that we could be a part of that Kingdom of God.
I overheard a young person ask just a few weeks ago “Why God created Mexicans and black people.” Luckily I wasn’t in charge because I wouldn’t have acted so calmly. The answer given to that person was, a better question is, “Why did God create white people?” And that person was challenged to do a little research about where Jesus came from and what he really would have looked like.
I want to know why we are still asking these questions! I want to know why people would rather find differences in each other instead of commonalities.
I’m not going to change the world with a post on a blog that few people even look at. But who knows – maybe someone will see and have their heart warmed by the flow of God’s love. Who knows – maybe I will see things in me that still accept things because “that’s just the way it is.” Who knows – maybe the world can be changed – one person at a time! Blessings!