Family, welcome back. I guess I should welcome you all to the month of June, but I’ll save that for tomorrow’s #FirstFriday post.
Today’s post has been difficult for me to write. Not because of the content contained within, but because of the happenings that inspired it. Most, if not all, of us have seen and heard the things that have been happening in our world.
Particularly against black people.
I’ll be honest, I’m not sure where to start, nor how I’ll end. My heart is heavy. Its been heavy since last Tuesday when I watched an American citizen by the name of George Floyd be treated as less than human by police officers, to the point of death. It upset me. It really did. And over the past week and a half the information overload – on social media – of the racial injustices happening all over the world has, in a way, tested my faith.
I mean this in the sense that, it’s very easy to look at what is happening as a race war, and to begin to harbour feelings of disdain towards white people. Yet the Word tells me to live and walk in love when it comes to my neighbour.
So I sat down with myself and thought on this. I wondered if there is more to what we see, beyond the physical. What part am I meant to play in all this as both a Christian and a human? Does it matter if I speak up or not, and why? I also tried to imagine what Jesus would have done.
I’m thankful that God’s word holds answers to these questions.
Is there more to what we see – beyond the physical?
Life is spiritual. The happenings of our physical world are often a direct result of certain things taking place in the realm of the spirit. And so, it is important that we do not get carried away with being so fixated on what we see physically that we forget/negate the spiritual aspect.
Consider, for instance, the story of Daniel in chapter 10. Daniel had been fasting and praying for 21 days, and on the 24th day an angel appeared to him and said this: “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was standing in opposition to me for twenty-one days. Then, behold, Michael, one of the chief [of the celestial] princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia”. The prince of the kingdom of Persia mentioned here is one of whom Ephesians 6:12 is referring to when it says “…rulers and authorities of the unseen world”.
We see that what Daniel could have seen as a ‘delay’ in receiving the response to his prayer physically was a direct result of the opposition the messenger angel had faced spiritually. Thus, what we see taking place physically is only but a mild indication of what is actually taking place spiritually.
Am I saying that racism is a spiritual issue? A demon that needs to be cast out? Lol, no. Racism is a physical issue (a heart/thought thing), however it’s presence acts as a catalyst for the perpetuation of racial segregation/injustices/wars. When you understand the nature of the enemy, of satan, you know that his agenda is to cause confusion and division everywhere he possibly can, so as to try and limit people’s experience of God (His goodness, peace, kindness, grace, mercy, glory etc).
And so, because we wrestle not against flesh and blood, the weapons of our warfare cannot be carnal either (2 Corinthians 10:4). We ought always to pray and not to faint (Like 18:1), to stand in the gap and intercede. To declare words of life over the nations of the earth. To cause a change, a shift in the spirit such that the physical can only but obey/adhere.
What part are we meant to play in all this? Does it matter if I speak up or not?
The scripture above urges us to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. To individuals who haven’t grown up in households and/or environments that talk about racial injustice issues and the like, it may be daunting and uncomfortable to even just think on how to go about this. Let alone actually do it. However, change hasn’t never been birthed from a bubble of comfortability.
Speaking up requires that one puts aside all cowardice, in order to advocate for what is right in the eyes of our father. It also requires that one be fully aware of what exactly it is they are defending. Meaning, educating ourselves is key. Having those uncomfortable conversations is necessary, because it opens up our eyes, broadens our perspective and helps us confront our ignorance head on.
Speaking up is more than just words. Its attaching to those words actions that correlate. In our day, it ranges from signing petitions, to being a part of protests, to donating towards initiatives that deal with the issues at hand. Speaking up looks like calling out racist remarks when you hear/see them in your sphere of contact/influence. And so much more.
I am still learning what it means, because for the first time in forever I’ve taken it upon myself to not watch from the sidelines, but rather educate myself on what I can do, and taking a step towards it..
Daunting? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.
What would Jesus do?
Considering the man was and is the word, I think it’s safe to say that He did exactly what it says. From including the excluded by showing compassion toward social outsiders (lepers in Matthew 8:1-3; Luke 17:11-19; Mark 1:40-44), and protesting inequality towards women (Luke 10:38-42; Matthew 9:19-26; John 20:11-18). To Rejecting racism, sexism, exclusion of ‘the other’ (like the samaritan woman: John 4:1-42). We see it happen often as we read about the life of Jesus.
It’s important to note though, that none of it ever came from a place of hate. Instead, it was done in love, and that is the example we are to follow. To seek justice out of love for the oppressed and not hatred towards the oppressor.
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. – 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 NLT
Now is not the time to stay quiet on a spiritual & a physical end. Not when heaven welcomes diversity.
Today I leave you with a question. One that I’m really hoping you’ll answer in the comment section. What’s one thing you’ve learnt during this period, concerning advocating for change?
Grace & Peace to you & yours
– Xo, Jo 🌺