I Was Thinking…
Dr. Catherine Meeks, Director of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing, spent several hours with our North Georgia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry in August. I found her to be warm and insightful as she challenged us to look at the racial issues of this world.
“The Biggest issue with regards to racial healing is the issue of transformation. Knowledge is not the problem. The problem is our hearts. It’s not that we don’t know, it’s that we don’t have the heart. We must wake-up and decide if we want to be well. Even if our nation doesn’t want to be well, certainly the church must want to be well. The Church needs to get beyond diversity and get to healing. God did not intend the church to be sick.”
One of Dr. Meeks comments that really captured my attention was, “Things are not getting worse…things are getting truer. Don’t be distracted by the bad news of today. Read the Old Testament and you will discover that we didn’t just get bad yesterday.”
“Oppression is a spirit and any of us can become caught in that spirit. It is often lived forth in the idea that for me to feel ok about myself, I must look at someone else as less.”
It was Dr. David Hooker, Keough School of Global Affairs, Conflict Transformation and Peace Building, who said, “Getting people to face their own stuff is the challenge.” I agree. That has been my experience with myself and with others as I have journeyed through life.
One of the great skills of humanity is ‘scape-goating’ and blaming. We have become masters of deflecting our issues, consciously and unconsciously onto others. They crucified Jesus because Jesus brought an inconvenient truth to the world. As Dr, Meeks reminded us, “It’s inconvenient to be awake!”
My prayer for us is that we desire transformation, first for ourselves…for all of us need the transforming work of the Holy Spirit continually in our lives. Secondly, for the church. We have drawn too many lines of demarcation in the name of Jesus…God forgive us, for we know not what we are doing. And lastly, for the world…through us, with us and because of our transformation, bring healing to the world.
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.