Fragile Beauty and Racism

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A biblical theme that never fails to stir my heart is summed up like this: the more beautiful a dimension of God’s creation is, the more fragile it is and vulnerable to distortion and abuse.

It’s true of the wonders of the created world.

It’s true of the mystery of human sexuality.

And it’s true of the reality that humankind is comprised of many races who are all called to be in one in Christ, a foretaste of the great Revelation 7 vision of a multitude gathered from every tribe and language and people and nation.

My favorite denominational statistic is that the non-Caucasian membership of the CRCNA is growing rapidly. For me, it’s not a statistic; it’s faces, voices, hearts, and hands that I have the privilege to encounter all the time. And one of my deepest longings as a binational ministry leader is that the Lord would grow in me wisdom, grace, and teachability concerning how he is calling me to live and lead as a Rev. 7 signpost.

I am the father of a biracial, adoptive family, and a few days ago my daughter sent me an essay written by Kyle Korver, Utah Jazz (NBA) player and son of an RCA pastor. As I read it, I realized Korver was not asking me to engage in a debate with him. I realized he was inviting his readers to glimpse his own heart as it wrestled with the fragile beauty and corresponding uglinesses that live in the now and the not yet on the way to Revelation 7. I realized that he is my brother in struggling, and I was grateful for his invitation to struggle with him.

Thank you, Kyle.

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I was so moved by this article from Kyle Korver. Thanks for sharing it here. What struck me most was his teachability--that softness of heart and willingness to change. What if Christians were known for our willingness to confess and repent (ie. turn from) sins of racism? As Calvinists, our creativity in twisting God's good intentions and looking out for ourselves first should come as no surprise to us. 

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Goodness, what an astonishing confession with the remarkable double focus--confession and resolution to active reconciliation. Thank you so much, Syd and noble daughter, for finding and posting this piece. I am reminded--and I often need that reminder--that there are fine people and conscious, self-aware children of God who make a living in professional sports. Might this be reprinted in The Banner? That would give it a bit more play to a readership rarely witnesses to this kind of testimony to justice and ethics. 

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"What was Thabo doing out at a club on a back-to-back??"  Replace Thabo with a woman's name,in a report that she was raped, and all too often the question is the same.  What was she doing at a club at that time of night?  Far from me to trivialize the plight of African Americans, but in many respects their plight and women's problems are similar.  And maybe the plight of African American women is even worse, because not only are they women, they are also women of color.  

My mom read Michelle Obama's book recently, and she was struck by how hard it is for people of color like Michelle Obama and her husband to make a good life for themselves and their kids, and they are the successful ones.  I'm Caucasian and I live in Canada, so I have no idea as to what it's like to be at the receiving end of that, so I'm not going to pretend I know.  But I can use empathy.  And do like him. LISTEN.

 

The only way to end prejudice and racism is for all of us to view each other in the way God views us: as individuals. May we look past the relative brown-ness of each others' skin, and see the individual being created by God.