Let’s dive right in shall we? This will act as a sort of confession to set the stage for furthur resources and musings.
I am a white, middle class, American born, male, living in the southeastern part of the United States. I have black friends. I grew up with people of color in my neighborhood. I listen to hop hop. I would never intentionally act differently towards a person of color. I have hired people of color in my job. And these are just a few of the reasons that I am not a racist…or so I thought. If you’re reading this as a person of color, I know, and I’m sorry.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend an event called “Grace Dialogues”. The event was designed to give of people from all walks of life a chance to come and discuss race, faith, and reconciliation. It was led by one of my new favorite bloggers, Bethaney, whose wisdom and leadership effected me in a deep and life changing way that day. God used this event to force me to stare into the ugliness of my own heart. Over the next few weeks I’ll be walking you through some of the material that was shared and sharing some of the experiences that solidified this truth in my heart, but for now I’ll simple confess, I am a nice racist, and God hates that.
Yes I have black friends. No I have never lynched anyone or given my money to the KKK. Yes I enjoy parts of black culture. No I have never used the N word or other racial slurs. Yes I love Jesus and try to live in a way that honors Him. No I have not opened my eyes to the pain that has been cause by white christians before me using God to rationalize their sinful hatred…until now. I don’t know if I can change the system, but I can ask God to change me.
I am new on this journey and I am certain their will be missteps along the way but if you’re willing, I would love for you to come along with me.
Truth. Man, that’s not a loaded topic at all is it. Is it relative or absolute? Can we know it? If we can’t than who can? If we can, then what do we do with it? Is truth a belief, a feeling, a person, a worldview? Is Jesus the truth or is Paul Pierce? So many questions! And yet to answer any of them, we must admit the cyclical nature of asking, that we assume the answers we find will be the truth.
About a year ago I started a project called “The Truth Advocate” in which I started a blog with the intention of being honest, no matter how hard it was or how much I would want to hide, because I have come to believe that, as Jesus taught in the Gospel of John, “the truth will set you free.” For the majority of my life I didn’t value truth because I was afraid of what the truth would mean for me if someone found out. Then one day the truth of my life got exposed in the grandest way and in spite of my fear I had to learn to live as who I really was rather than the person I wanted to be.
Through that project, which was narrow in scope dealing mostly with my addiction history and current recovery journey, God began to open my eyes to other blind spots where I had allowed untruth to reside. I wanted to expand that project but I had been so intentional to remain laser focused on that journey that there was no room for expansion. Thus, I find myself here, far less driven by the ambitions that led The Truth Advocate, and ready to take a quieter and better paced approach at a broader journey.
I have no grandiose belief that the world at large will seek to follow this journey, but there are some friends who I think have come to appreciate my digging and may just gain some insights of their own through the experiences I will share. To them I say, come along, share your thoughts, and lets seek truth together. No guarantees that we will find it or that we’ll even get close, but I think its more about the journey anyway.