A Single Pebble Tossed into a Raging Sea of Injustice
Updated: Jun 2, 2020
The following was taken from a recent Slingstones podcast.
What I'm about to say and share with you seems to be the smallest pebble being thrown into a raging sea of injustice and deep wounding. But it is my pebble, so I want to intentionally toss it in during these difficult times.
There is a scripture that I want to begin with that I think would be important for us. The scripture comes out of Hebrews 13:3, "Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourself were suffering."
Those who are mistreated as if you yourself were suffering. The scripture says, remember them. That doesn't mean, “Oh yeah, I remember, they're there”. This "remember" means to enter in with them. Draw yourself into these circumstances of pain. Be there emotionally, physically, spiritually. Touch what they are experiencing. Feel what it's like, as much as that is possible.
I believe that if we invite the Holy Spirit to help us enter in and help us remember, we will be able to at least touch the edges of what some people are experiencing and suffering. I want to share some things personally. I need to be crystal clear about something. As I begin to share, you may think I am assigning myself a special privileged point of view...but stay with me, because I'm actually going to say the opposite...so if you will, hear me out.
I never went to a segregated school. My whole life had integration. Neighbors, friends, integration in grade school, junior high, high school, college. My very first friend was Solomon James. He and I were paddled together on the Gastonville School playground by Miss Sarah Thompson because we didn't come in when the bell rang, we stayed out and continued to enjoy recess. Many of my friends came from diverse cultures. I was engaged in sports from the time I was eight years old, and I was privileged in that I was able to learn from people whose experience of being members of a minority culture was quite different than mine.
I had a roommate in college, we called him "Bama." His name was Avery, a really special African American man. When my family and I moved to New York, we were able to participate in a very diverse culture. Our apartment house where we were living was filled with people from around the world. My son had friends who were from Colombia, from Burkina Faso, Germany...we lived in a diverse context and a diverse culture. I had opportunity over and over again to minister in places like Harlem, in Spanish Harlem, among the Chinese culture. It was a great exposure to the difference that comes when you grow up in a minority culture.
It was that exposure over all of these years, that helped make me aware of how low my CQ really was. CQ, Culture Intelligence. The more exposure I have had, the more friendships that have shaped me that come from diverse backgrounds, the more I realize that in many ways I have been blinded to what really happens to people in a minority culture