Being part of the solution instead of the problem

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Well folks, after a week spent on the topic of racism I can truthfully say I know no more about this than when I started. I spent a good deal of time on today’s Catch and it ended up in the trash. It wasn’t right. I was talking about something I thought I understood — something someone else said that made sense to me, but I realized I do not have a good enough handle on it to pass it on to you. I looked over what I wrote and realized I didn’t know what I was talking about.

I can tell you this from this week. Race relations are complicated and in some form or another, I think we are all racists. Some of it we see, and can do something about; some of it we don’t see, and that’s a lot harder to deal with since we are blind to it in the first place.

So to give us something to think about today, I am going to borrow a Catch comment from Bob (near Seattle) when he wrote: “Even though Jesus’ blood cleanses us from our sins, we still have daily opportunities to behave either like pious priests who avoid getting involved, or like despised Samaritans who help heal the wounds of strangers.”

Either we avoid getting involved, or we step in and do something to heal. This will mean different things to different people, but lets look for places where we can bring some healing to society instead of more division.

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8 Responses to Being part of the solution instead of the problem

  1. Peter Leenheer says:

    Thank you for your honesty, it is a great starting place. Last night watched a townhall with President Obama. His point was similar to yours. One let’s do something! Realize that we all are at fault somehow, and just be compassionate, love each other, seek to meet one another’s needs..you might say turn grace outward. Let’s go in the direction of healing, instead of further strife.

  2. I hadn’t had a chance to comment all week. Each day has been good. And thoughtful. Today’s struck me because this is exactly what our sermon was about this past week. (and if you are wondering, our minister is an African-American woman). Nothing quite sums it up more than ‘love you neighbor’ and ‘who is my neighbor’. And who am I in the story… I’ve been all of them, some more often than I’d like to admit. We have to step forward, each of us, in the best ways we can, but also go the extra mile to build relationships with people different from us. We all have a long way to go and we’ll only get there by continuing to step forward and make the effort.

  3. TimC in OR says:

    I don’t get it. I just don’t understand how people can be racist. I don’t have a racist bone in my body. One time a friend at work asked me if I would join his slow pitch softball team. It turned out that I was also the only white guy on the team. I don’t think the league had a requirement that the team had to be integrated. But I think I was there because I liked him as a friend at work. I suppose that the fact that I could play any position and I hit about .750 might have had something to do with it too. But it was fun getting to know his friends and playing ball – it was a great group of guys and we even won a few games. No one cared what color anyone was, everyone was friendly and accepting of everyone else. They even accepted me, a 5’4″ white guy.
    But I have to admit that there is one group of people who I have hard time with… Jerks. I don’t care what color they are, but I have a hard time with jerks. And I have to admit that sometimes that includes me.

  4. Kris Rudin says:

    I so appreciate your honesty! I think we can all agree that life for a typical black person in America is not the same as for a typical white person. If you are white, would you really want to be black in America? Really? We need to make changes in our country, in our society, in ourselves. And let it begin with me.

  5. I think many people tend to confuse racism with prejudice. While I believe we all have our prejudices, I don’t believe we are all racist.

  6. Marya Rud says:

    Have you seen The Grace Card? IT is a wonderful movie .It deals with race. It deals with the family and with police.

  7. Terri Main says:

    I understand your frustration. I have become frustrated lately with the political process. Not that I don’t believe it can produce change. It’s just not the way *I* can produce change most effectively. I might not be able to create a level playing field for African-Americans, stop the violence from police and anti-police forces, remove hatred in the world. However, I CAN do something about MY world. I can show forth love, joy, peace, goodness, gentleness, kindness, longsuffering, meekness and self-control toward the people I know.

    I can become a model instead of a preacher. Instead of telling others what they are doing wrong. I can show them what to do right. I posted this last night on Facebook, and I think it segways with what you are saying about being part of the solution. It’s one thing to complain about what’s wrong in the world. It’s quite another to help set it right.

    “I have come to a conclusion. Actually, a bundle of them. The first is that I cannot at this point in my life significantly impact the political process. Oh, I can vote, but beyond that, there is little I can do. Posting my political opinions online will get me thumbs ups from those who agree. And either ignored, unfriended or disputed by those who do not, but no actual change will take place.
    My second conclusion is that, aside from providing protections for vulnerable individuals and groups, politics really offers little hope for important lasting change.
    So, what can I do? Sit on the sidelines and watch society dissolve in a morass of hatred, division, bigotry and exclusiveness?
    No, that isn’t right either. What I can do is be a light. Light is passive when you think about it. It doesn’t argue with the darkness or even condemn it. It simply fills up a room so full that the darkness cannot enter.
    As a light, I am not a preacher but an example. It is one thing for me to speak about lovingkindness. It is quite another for me to be loving and kind. It’s one thing for me to talk about reaching out to others. It is quite another to spend time writing emails and facebook posts of encouragement.
    I can be someone who lightens the load for another. No, I’m too old the change the world. But I can still be an example to others of how God can work through even an old-maid, retired school teacher.
    Like the song says,
    Brightly beams our fathers mercy
    From his lighthouse ever more
    But to us, he gives the keeping
    Of the lights along the shore.
    I don’t need to be a lighthouse. I just need to keep my light uncovered and shining brightly because as the song continues
    Let the lower lights be burning
    Shed it’s beams across the waves
    Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
    You may rescue, you may save.

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