I just recently learned this.
It wasn’t pretty.
It wasn’t sugar coated.
In fact, it hurt.
It’s not an easy thing to hear, especially in big, long doses.
But it’s still true.
I grew in the suburbs outside of Washington, DC.
In the wonderful, turbulent 60’s
In a safe, white, middle class neighborhood.
In a safe, white Presbyterian church
Loving parents, siblings, cat, dog, everything but the white picket fence.
I learned love.
I learned peaceful resolution is better than war.
I learned to embrace differences.
I learned to reach out and serve.
I did not learn that I had more inherent opportunity by virtue of being white.
I didn’t learn that it was easier for me to love because I had no oppressor.
I didn’t learn that some have to fight for their existence.
I didn’t learn that differences separate.
I didn’t learn to respect the dignity of those I served.
I could have picked up the clues.
But I am clueless.
Now, I hurt.
My thoughts are all jumbled up.
I grieve for those I have unintentionally hurt by not understanding.
I want to have conversations, but am afraid to speak.
I want to listen, but am afraid of confrontation.
I am a coward.
Gracious God, grant us all
Boldness to engage in peaceful conversation
Wisdom to listen and to hear to each other
Humility to admit we do not know
Grace to forgive and be forgiven
Courage to stay in the journey until all people are free.