The article wasn’t making any sense.
Could I really be that oblivious to the world around me? Was I really that self-absorbed?
In a moment my world tipped, I couldn’t deny what I saw.
Don’t shut down and turn away yet.
I want you to listen, truly listen, to what I’ve learned.
Maybe you grew up similar to me. My town was about one hour outside of Philadelphia, our two streets were Main and Broad and there was no stoplight until I was in high school.
Every single person I saw was white like me.
I had no questions about race or skin color because there was no opportunity for me to realize I should. We learned to love people, it’s just that all the people happened to be white.
When this topic slapped me across the face it would have been easier to stay far away rather than engage.
Except. . .
we were in the middle of our adoption process and our child was going to be black.
So I kept absorbing information as quickly as I could until the heartbreak threatened to crush me under the weight of the reality.
But I had to trudge through this murky underbelly of our country’s history and push past all of the discomfort that inevitably bubbled up in my gut, the guilt that enclosed my heart and the shame shooting darts into my mind because people who looked like me had done incredibly horrendous things to the people who looked like our future child and still are.
I pushed past the agony because I had to for Levi.
Levi gave me the courage to keep going, and his life continues to give me the courage to speak out.
But this fire in my heart for changing the landscape of racial tension around me isn’t enough. This change can’t be done by one person alone.
I have to engage that deep place in you where you know something isn’t right in this country but you don’t know what to do about it.
I need you to keep slogging through the sludge of what you will learn and join me.
It’s harsh and horribly uncomfortable to walk through the heartache that comes in this conversation, but the wonderful truth is that the beauty and growth in your heart on the other side is one million times worth it.
Instead of a monotonous and comfortable existence, like Dorothy stepping into Oz, the richness of color and wonder for life suddenly appears and grows deep roots into your soul to nourish the beginning of a life of adventure.
Your heart will swell to bursting with a fullness of love and sorrow that encompasses everyone as you look past the differences to find the commonalities. The relationships are real and deep and indescribably beautiful.
I wish it hadn’t taken so long for me to wake up.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:20-23 (bold mine, for emphasis)
All I can do as one person is let my passion overflow out into the world to shine some light on this topic so that if you’ve never been awakened you have a chance to find this beauty too.
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