The division in the Church has been baffling me. We all know and love Jesus. We’re all seeking to follow him. And we’re ending up in two completely different places. HOW?
I’m finally beginning to understand a little more. Several friends that I love and trust have said, “It’s like we live in two different countries!” And I started to see why this is happening. It’s because we ARE living in two different countries.
I know because I used to live in their country. It was one where everyone has the same chance for success, and any academic or economic failure was a result of personal ineptitude or maybe even laziness. It was a place where a person’s skin color didn’t matter—we don’t see color! We love everyone. It was a place where racism ended with the “I Have a Dream” speech when everyone finally saw the light and Black people were treated the same as anyone else.
It was a place where the Rodney King riots only served to show how violent “they” were, and it was perfectly reasonable to wonder what in the world “they” were trying to accomplish. It was a place where we were scared because those riots were just down the street. It was a place where Colin Kaepernick was an ungrateful prima donna. How dare he disrespect our flag and troops like that when our hard earned money had made him a multi-millionaire? It was a place where the goal of our vote was to protect our values and way of life.
But I don’t live there anymore. The country I live in now is a place where the experience of people of color in this country is completely different than my experience as a White person. It’s a place where policies have been put in place since the nation’s inception to isolate and oppress people of color. It’s a place where my vote is precious and used to do the best I can to care for the least of these. It’s a place where my faith in Jesus requires me to look outside of my primarily white suburban neighborhood and at how things affect me. It’s a place where the painful reality of white supremacy is real every day. My Black brothers and sisters are hurting and saying they need help, and the country I live in now is one where I finally hear them.