No Longer an Option
We began the week with a story about Jesus, who came down from a mountain to be with a crazy diverse, messy group of people, right on their level, right in their midst.
“He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.” - Luke 6:17-19
How do we become that kind of person, like Jesus in his radical “be-with-ness”? And how will these kinds of interactions and relationships (what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called “the beloved community”) change us? Consider this example of a kairos moment, of non-anxiously and non-defensively hearing and responding to Jesus’ call toward wholeness:
“Then, as we pulled into a parking lot to break for lunch [in the midst of a sankofa, an intentional engagement with cultural history], another white student stood to speak. But instead of a different variation on “Please don’t make me responsible for this,” she took a deep breath and gave in to the emotion of it all. “I don’t know what to do with what I’ve learned,” she said. “I can’t fix your pain, and I can’t take it away, but I can see it. And I can work for the rest of my life to make sure your children don’t have to experience the pain of racism.” And then she said nine words that I’ve never forgotten: “Doing nothing is no longer an option for me.”
― Austin Channing Brown, I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
I can see (recognize, reflect)… I can work (respond)… What kairos moments have you experienced this week around race? Are you open to more - what spaces of toughening or tenderizing do you notice within yourself? If doing nothing were no longer an option for you, what resources or abilities, however large or small, might God nudge you to contribute toward reconciliation in your sphere of influence? Talk with Jesus honestly about these things for a few minutes.