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The Way Out as I See It: A Biracial Person's Reflections on Racial Tension

Updated: Dec 25, 2021

As a biracial person, married to a black man, raising three black children, and as a follower of Jesus, I’ve found my thoughts and emotions running wild this week as I attempt to process the racial tension we are seeing in our country from these different angles. When I’m struggling to bring my thoughts in for a landing, my sweet little 8-year-old will often remind me, “Mommy, go worship Jesus.” She knows that God’s presence has a way of transforming me and giving me my sanity back. And this song in particular has helped me reflect on where my true hope and joy are found, while processing the lows and highs, pain and joy, anguish and hope I’ve experienced this week. I’d like to share some of my present resolve with you, as I continue to process this complex issue.

The Lows, Pain & Anguish:

As a mother of 2 black sons, I mentally see George Floyd calling out to his mama in his final moments and can’t help but see my own sons in his place. I am grieving for George, his family, Ahmad and many others…and all of us who have to repeatedly tell our teenage son’s (not in fear but out of wisdom) that they can’t wear the hood of their sweatshirt up because we’d rather them be cold and alive than the alternative. I’m grieving for my 14-year-old who asks week after week to ride bikes to the store with his white friends, hoping my answer will eventually change...but because parents of black kids have no choice but to constantly consider whether others will assume their kids are criminals and will be framed with the crime someone else chooses to commit, we have to say “no” to simple things like a bike ride to the store.

The Highs:

While I grieve along with so-so many broken hearts all around the country, I’ve personally found some of the most healing acts for me have come from some of my white brothers and sisters who have called to check on my family and have sincerely wanted to understand what we must be going through. These same people choose to stand side-by-side with us in #peacefulprotest. They’ve taken the time and care to identify with what it means for black lives to really be valued and have learned that this outcry was never intended to diminish the value of other lives — rather it is an imperative call-to-action for the equality of black lives! And while they (and EVERY black person I’ve talked to) do not condone the destruction of property, they realize that the human soul is more precious than any material possession…buildings are replaceable but people are not. They embody MLK, Jr.’s words, “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that we will be able to make of this old world a new world. We will be able to make men better. Love is the only way.”

The Hope in it All:

Love truly is the only way. And since love is a verb, is not action required?...especially, for those who are followers of Jesus (me included). 1 John 4:8, tells us that love is the very essence of who God is; verse 9 goes on to show us this love in action through Christ identifying with our suffering and taking our pain on the cross. In this same way, should we not follow in His footsteps for the marginalized (like the maimed traveler who was rescued on the side of the road in Luke 10)… or cross racial and social boundaries like John 4 explains Jesus did with the Samaritan women? If you’ve been stuck feeling like your silence is in fact “not” complicity but you just don’t know what you can possibly do to help, may I encourage you to pray, to worship, to read Scripture but take what God gives you during that time and put it into action. He might lead you to have your children call their black friends to see how they are doing, to sign a petition, to write your Congressperson, bring dinner to a police officer...yup, that’s right…many of our brothers and sisters who are cops are deeply torn and hurting too. How ever God leads you, will you act according to the great love He has shown you first? In closing, I’d like to leave you with a quote from Dr. King, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

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