Wednesday, my beautiful, smart, precocious five year old niece was called the “N” word by a classmate. Yes, in 2018 this is still the reality of African-American parents.(Please don’t respond how you were teased on the playground. We all were. The difference is we have had to deal with normal teasing AND this crap.)
The anger I felt when I heard about this, the sadness I felt when I had to explained to my daughter why we were followed in the store, the outraged I felt when I had to explain to my son why he would not allow his friends to call him an Oreo, all make up who I am. My opinions, my passions, my interpretation of life, comes from my experiences. These memories are a part of who I am.
Now, many would tell me that. “Only God’s word and God’s revelation should define me.” But I don’t think that is entirely true. Yes, it is because of God’s word and the revelation He has given me that I am not bitter. That I can forgive. That I have joy and can love all people.
But it is because of my experiences I have compassion for the underdog. It’s because I know what it is like to be excluded because of gender, I have a heart to equip and release people, especially women, into their callings. It is because I know the sting of a white man telling me to go back to Africa that I refuse to allow people to get away with saying, “All Muslims want to kill you.” My past experiences along with the word of God help me process my current realities.
How do we, as Christians process the pain, the hurts, the rejection we experience in this life while being citizens of the Kingdom of God? I don’t think God wants us to just forget them. If He did, he would have created that memory erasing device like in Men In Black. God wants to heal your past wounds and set you free to forgive. But then, he wants you to take your past hurts and become an advocate, a Moses, for others who are experiencing what you were delivered from. I’m an advocate for racial equality and unity in the Body of Christ because I don’t want anyone else to experience that pain.
I know my niece will be okay. She is well loved. But my heart is going out to all kids on the playground being called a name or excluded because of the color of their skin. May bitterness and unforgiveness not land in their hearts. But may they rise up and be an advocate for racial equality and unity in this country.
“How truly wonderful and delightful to see brothers and sisters living together in sweet unity!”
Psalms 133:1 TPT