How can I even begin to say what I feel like I have no words for?
The nation’s grief and anger this week has been so overwhelming to the point where I had to withdraw from it, especially when it felt like some days I was drowning in my own personal grief and my mental health was teetering on the edge.
But I also had to withdraw to pray and examine my own heart and listen for the truth under the wild onslaught of posts popping up all over social media.
Here’s what I want to say, and I say it carefully with love: I know that all of you, my dear friends, care so much about justice and equality and the racism that has been woven into our nation from the beginning. And I know that you are fighting for it in the ways that you believe are best. Thank you for that.
Just know that because someone doesn’t post constantly about the issues on social media doesn’t mean they don’t care. It’s not a proof of someone’s character or their values or beliefs whether they post or not.
I agree with so much of it. I am deeply saddened by the injustice and broken systems in our country. I recognize that I don’t understand what it’s truly like for people of different races than my own. And I care about doing my part to listen to other people’s stories and doing what I can to educate my students to have more loving and inclusive viewpoints.
If you truly know me, you understand that about me.
What worries me is how pushy people are becoming about supporting this matter – making others feel judged or inferior or even personally responsible for injustice happening in the world – if they don’t fight like they want them to.
I agree that we all have a part to play in it. But some of us would rather not follow the social media trends and hashtags. Some of us do and that’s completely fine – as long as those posts aren’t condemning others for not following suit.
I want to be as educated as I can about topics that matter, and sometimes that means being quiet about them while I learn. It means listening to the stories of the people actually affected by race issues and seeking how I can support them and teach my students better because of it.
I want to see real change happen, but I know that takes time. And I also know that real change happens in our hearts where we have to humble ourselves before God and ask the Holy Spirit to help us see people the way God made them – as beautiful representations of Himself through all their colors. Real change happens when we work on relationships – relationships that ask questions, that value experiences different from our own, and that are willing to walk through dark times with one another.
There is so much that I don’t want to say for fear I’ll get it wrong and someone will jump all over me and start accusing me of being racist without knowing it.
But I will speak the truth that I see you for who God made you to be, I love you, and I’m willing to work for change in the ways that I am able to.
Some days that means I’ll speak up. Some days I’ll quietly sit and learn. Some days I will need to withdraw to work through my own grief, loss, and stress. But my beliefs and convictions about each person’s beautiful design and worth will not change.
Please keep fighting for truth and justice, brothers and sisters. But remember to do it with peace and love for this world is already in enough hurt as it is.
May God grant us His strength to do what He has convicted us to do.