If any of you use the Enneagram, I’m a 9w1, with a pretty strong wing 1 at that. I abhor conflict and confrontation. I don’t feel like I have anything to say that really isn’t already being said. And, on top of that, I labor over the words I do say because I feel like they have to be perfect. And that keeps me silent for quite a while.
But you get to a point where you realize you need to speak up.
This week, I have read and listened to the pain that the Black community has experienced and is experiencing every day. I listened to Otis Moss’s lament for Ahmaud Arbery.
I listened to the IGTV video of a conversation between Charlie Dates, a Black pastor in Chicago, and Beth Moore.
I watched another conversation with Charlie Dates and Watson Jones, another Black Chicago pastor, as they reacted to George Floyd’s death and all the frustrations and anger that they felt.
And I watched the beautiful video from Nicole Walters, a Christian entrepreneur in Atlanta, who speaks of her life experience as a Black woman in America.
What has happened and is happening to Black people is wrong. What happened to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean, and the hundreds and thousands of other Black men and women who have been persecuted and died in the streets, in the stores, and even in their own homes is wrong. It is evil.
I acknowledge that I have advantages and privileges given to me simply because of the way I look. And I want our country to do better. I want to do better.
I promise to continue listening and to promote the voices I’m listening to for others to hear.
I promise to lean into the discomfort. I know I will get things wrong. Even though I have felt pain, been isolated and ostracized, and know loss, I will not ever completely understand the Black experience. I will only use my experiences to drive my empathy not to explain the experience of others.
Hebrews 10:34 says, ”Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.” Christ stood with the persecuted, the blamed, the outsiders, the oppressed. And I want to stand with Christ. So, I stand with them.