Listening, Lamenting, and Learning.
Some of my closest most cherished friendships are with people of color, specifically Africans and African-Americans. Some of my richest faith development moments have been because of the lessons I've learned from people of color and the way they view and worship God. The private, hard conversations of pain that I've shared one-on-one throughout the years have been sobering. In all honesty, I have no mental grid to process it. But the Holy Spirit is helping, and I have a hurting heart to lament and faith in Jesus to contend alongside.
Ryan and I want our family's voice to be clear : we want to be a part of bringing change to the race narrative and reality. We don't know what that fully looks like, but we do know that in our home and hearts, starting with ourselves and our children, we want a "Revelation 7 Reality". Revelation 7:9-12," After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb,clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice,“Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
When we pray "Thy Kingdom Come", this is the picture and portion I believe He has for our homes. Surrounding our children with a variety of skin colors and stories and sounds that ultimately build their mindset with a "Heaven Reality." Giving them, and us, a vision and value for the richness of diversity.
I have lots of thoughts on this topics and as I prayed about what words to share I realized, my words aren't what is important here. My willingness to listen, learn, and share the words of others are. That's my challenge to our white community. Let's listen and lament, and learn.
I am so blessed to have one of my dearest friends, Faitth Brooks, at the front line of racial reconciliation work. Our friendship is going on 16 years. We have cried, prayed, laughed and done life together at a DEEP level. I love her so much. We couldn't be more different on the outside, but we both deeply love Jesus and know that He brought us together for purpose.
For our 10 year "Friend-Anniversary" in 2015 we took a cruise together. It was on this trip that I saw the shift in her anointing and passion. We talked about race, race in the church, and the hope of restoration that Christ was bringing nonstop the entire week. This is not something that has just been stirring on social media the past week. This has been stirring for GENERATIONS. I encourage you to look up her social accounts (@FaitthB) and the organization, Be The Bridge, that she is a part of. I promise, you will not only be informed but you won't be able to ignore the reality of racism any more.
Not much more to say here, except that today, as this blog is going live, it is Pentecost Sunday. A day when the Holy Spirit poured power for unity on the globe. I'm praying for another pouring of unity for us today. Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever, Amen., Abby *Don't forget... the Cirkles are cheering you on (especially you, sweet Faitth)