Could Mourning Together Help Us Heal from Racism? (Race Relations US-West Newsletter)

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This is a portion of Rudy's May US-West newsletter. To receive the newsletter every other month, including subscriber-only content, sign up below and we'll send you the Race Relations newsletter for your region (Canada, US-Midwest, US-West). 

In these past few weeks, my wife and I said goodbye to a dear friend who passed away from cancer. My niece lost her husband after he fell off a ladder and died from head trauma. A dear friend and founding member of our church, who had a difficult life but was touched deeply by God, also passed away. Grieving for friends has been hard but it has also been strengthening to mourn with dear friends. One of those dear friends is my wife. We recently celebrated 42 years of marriage. God has blessed me with a great wife and ministry partner.

In these past few weeks, my wife and I said goodbye to a dear friend who passed away from cancer.

Race Relations work is about listening to the heart of God and hearts of people. In mourning the loss of friends, I heard the sadness within and around me. I felt embraced in the comforting words we spoke to each other.

Could mourning help us listen to each other’s struggles with racism? Are we too angry or indifferent to grieve? Will remembering with compassion the slaves, Indigenous people, or the settlers who birthed racism help heal the land from sin? Could our brothers’ blood be crying out for God’s justice? Though some of this violence happened long ago the reverberations are felt in the suicides, drug abuse, and rage we see. Yet, God is with us.

Race Relations work is about listening to the heart of God and hearts of people.

In the book of Jeremiah we see a picture of a mother devastated like mothers today victimized by the loss of their babies. “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” (Jeremiah 31:15) In that text, God tells Rachel not to weep because He will return her children to her. In her grieving God responds. Can we respond with God?

We've just celebrated Mothers Day. Let us grieve with weeping Rachel and with each other and forsake our fears and hostilities toward one another.

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