Our entire #livefreeThursday conversation was about living shame-less, but I have to be honest.
I’ve wrestled with shame this past week.
When the video was shared of Oklahoma college students chanting a racist song, I wanted to hang my head. As a long-time Oklahoma girl, I’m ashamed that an entire, beautiful people created by a divine God was talked about in this way. I’m ashamed of the lyrics that make light of a phrase that once marked fear in the heart of men and women just because of the color of their skin.
But my shame goes deeper.
I am ashamed that there are still churches that are segregated and people who really love Jesus don’t understand why that’s not okay.
I am ashamed when we say that we know people who are of a different race and therefore we can’t be prejudiced, when the reality is that these same people do not sit around our table or occupy intentional space in our life.
I am ashamed that this is still a conversation in the United States in the year 2015.
I’m ashamed when we are confronted by the reality of generations of slavery and abuse, it’s often dismissed with, “Well, I didn’t do it so why should I care?”
There are really great churches that are diverse. Not everyone is racist or prejudiced.
I’m so grateful for that.
We all make mistakes. I understand that as well, but in the case of intentional or unapologetic racism, or choosing to stay ignorant about the fact that it exists. . . how do we respond?
That’s the question that drove me to my knees. This is what I finally grasped.
It’s not shame that is needed, but love.
While my heart is still heavy over this very public incident,
love allows hope to kindle for. . .
Love leads us to pray for racism to be exposed and addressed, especially within this beautiful thing called the church.
Love leads us to pray that, if racism exists within in our heart in any way, that sin be removed.
Love leads us to intentionally make a friend whose culture and race is different from our own.
Love leads us to listen. To hear how racism affects far too many in everyday life, to walk in another person’s shoes.
Love leads us to speak out. Say it with wisdom, but say it. It’s not okay. Your joke. That generalization.
Love leads us to put a face with our words. To think of a beautiful child. A strong woman. A leader. A family. A human being created, loved, and treasured by God.
And when we respond with love, when we hear a chant like the one sung loudly on the OU fraternity bus, we begin to be a part of change.
I’m setting aside shame, determined to love instead. Will you join me in the conversation? Will you join me in prayer?
Will you join me in loving others as He has loved us?
Thank you Suzie. Love lights the way. Thank you Suzie, for shining a light where one is desperately needed. Thank you Suzie for leading the way. To love. To live according to how God made us to live. In unity. In community. In love for each other.
Suzie, I think you have spoken what a lot of us feel. It hurts to see people intentionally put down or make fun of others because of race or any other reason, for that matter. May God give us hearts that are filled to overflowing with love, the kind of love that will cause us to reach out, to be part of the solution, to love as He loves. Thank you so much for speaking out on this. Yes, I will join you!
Beautiful post. Thank you for being a voice for justice. True faith radically exposes seeds of prejudice within our own hearts and calls us to repent and offer costly, courageous love. Love calls us to be hashtag activists AND front line warriors. I am all in.
I’m with you here, Suzie. Love is the way to respond. In my country, the largest ethnic group in the world with out their own country (Kurds) are often the brunt of racist comments, and because of the political situation here, I must usually remain silent. I speak up where it’s appropriate. But I can love and I can pray.
I am joining you. Beautiful post.
Suzie, thank you for this. Yes, I will join you. “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.” Proverbs 10:12. We need to pave a path of love so deep that words of hate would not dare tread near. Like Susan said, we desperately need to shine Jesus light and you have done that in this post. Thank you.
Lord, may love always be our guide. May our nation not see the exterior, as we are so prone to do, but may we always look at the heart as you do. Change the face of our hearts to be more and more like you. Come into America and root out racism. We need you. Amen. (Thank you for these heartfelt and inspiring words, Suzie. From your #RaRalinkup pal.)