UPDATE 7/24: Calvary Philly just launched a page with resources geared towards promoting understanding and racial reconciliation. Click here to see it all, including a special message from Pastor Joe.
Recently an African-American friend and I began a slow conversation about issues of race, and especially issues of race in the church. He turned me on to John M. Perkins, one of those people you think–it’s really a crime I didn’t know about this guy before all of this. I’m almost done listening through his book Dream With Me, and I plan to move right on to One Blood: Parting Words to the Church on Race and Love. (Incidentally, you can listen to them both free on the Hoopla App, all you need is a library card.)
In addition to good books, this friend has also shared a few videos with me.
For instance, he sent me this note: “This presentation isn’t exaggerated. It’s daily life as a Black or Brown man in the USA,” and a link to this ad by P&G. It’s called “The Look.” And it’s powerful:
In further conversation, this brother in Christ rejoiced that Jesus has “looked” on him as well, and that Jesus’ look is more powerful than the look of men. And so it is. But if I’ve been able to live unaware of any of this, it’s going to help me love my brothers and sisters better to be able to at least be aware of some of what they deal with if their skin’s darker than mine.
He also shared this excellent video from Tony Evans with me:
As I’ve written here before, children of the King are no more defined by history, or legacy, or politics, or other’s viewpoints, than we are by skin color. God recognizes “every tribe, tongue, and nation” and they will be around his throne, and the blood of Christ is a stronger, more powerful identity marker, than any other thing. If you are his, that is your identity, before anything else.
So–no guilt. No world-induced frenzy of self-loathing. Just love. Love wants to reach out, connect, learn, and help. And he will help us continue to do that, and to do it better, by his grace.