Thursday, November 6

Thanks, Ryan...

I met with my friend Ryan earlier today... he's white and I'm black, so the conversation naturally gravitated very quickly to the issue of our newly-elected President. We haven't known each other for very long, so we shared about some of our upbringing, and what role race/prejudice played in our lives as we grew up.

Then, he shared something that I thought was very enlightening...

He said (not in these exact words), "Many of us (whites) are scared, because we're so used to seeing a white guy in a suit running our nation. Having a black President is something that's SO new, it's just thrown us off-balance, and we don't know what to do with that."

Thanks, Ryan... I appreciate your honesty. It's very refreshing.

Of course, I (and others) had a hunch that that was an issue... but it was good to hear it voiced. We often don't realize how much quicker we'll move down the road to healing when we simply are honest with each other. "Hey, man... this is new territory for me! We've always run this country... and, in the back of our minds, that's the way it's supposed to be! It just is!"

See, I can work with that (and, no, Ryan didn't say that last part). And I was able to speak to Ryan's concerns thoughtfully and in love, because I knew he was being honest and transparent. That's why we're friends... that's why our relationship will get stronger. If only we could do this as a nation...

The apostle Paul said, "But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another" (Gal. 5:15). Sooner or later, this whole thing is gonna get out-of-hand if we're not careful... and I'm speaking to myself on this one, too. I've never been as cynical and sensitive in my whole life as I have been over the last few weeks. Truthfully, some people have deserved D-Plum's criticisms (you know who you are); their comments have been both unguarded and untimely. But others have received responses from me, and were left shaking their heads... "What did I say??" Hindsight allows me to see why... unless one can walk a few miles in your shoes, they just don't understand; they must be shown and not just corrected. So, if I flair up on someone, but don't really help them to see what it was that angered me, neither of us is helped in the situation.

Dialogue precedes dismantling.

I really believe good things are in our country's future... whenever change is on the horizon, the opportunity is there to move forward as a people. As Christ-followers... black, white, yellow, brown, red, whatever... let's use this opportunity to show a world without Christ that He is preeminent and supercedes all our petty differences.

C'mon... let's stop biting and devouring one another.

3 comments:

Kevin Davis said...

This is a good post D-Plum - we just need to be real.

I know there is an underlying fear, though probably small in most cases, that white people fear a black leader - just because it is new, it is not the way it has always been. And as much as I celebrate it, I also recognize that it is new. I think the same thing would have been felt by men, if Hilary had been elected - it would be new (and Bill would be a disaster in the White House again).

But Barack is half white, born in Kansas - I think he can relate and isn't going to turn us into a hip-hop nation. I love the younger energy he has and I hope he can become the leader he's portrayed himself to be.

I'm more excited about our future than I would be if McCain was in the house.

Kevin said...

Pastor D,

I wish I had been in on this conversation. I so long and pray for racial reconciliation within the church so much I ache. Thanks for sharing and I hope and pray that we all can be more transparent about our true feelings and stop hiding behind the "I'm a liberal" and "I'm a conservative." tags.

Curt said...

Hey cuz, it's a good thing that the view's of both you and your friend were brought to the round table in a fashion that I'm sure was stand up....with that being said, hopefully this nation will understand that it's not going to be immediate gratification as we would hope, well let me speak for myself....I just pray that things will be what I feel is a REAL CHANGE....no matter what color or creed. I think everyone must pull their own card's and let's make it happen.