It is raining here in northwest Missouri. Enough that we’re under flash flood warnings. It’s drawing closer to noon as I start to write this, and I’m just getting a halfway, okay, a quarter of a start on the day. Weather like this impacts my body, and I’m what I call “dragging” because it’s more polite to say that than to say what I actually feel.
Lack of honesty? Learned behavior? Trying not to focus on self? Take your pick, the cloudy day that threatens to last for the next few days brings on the ‘what does it matter’ attitude. So, I’m sharing today as I work through it all, hoping that the unexpected strip of blue that has suddenly appeared in the sky will spread.
As I sat listening to the church’s daily devotion this morning, as I reflected on yesterday’s service, as I stared out the window and wondered how any of it applies to me, the doubts surrounded by gloom flew in like a hawk ready to grab its prey.
The service yesterday was a discussion with African American leaders in the community, working to educate the congregation on the thoughts, the feelings, the experiences of African American people here in this medium-sized town. It was beautiful. I was ready to jump up and do whatever I could do, hadn’t God put on my heart weeks ago to begin working on my own understanding of the Biblical history of African American people? I respect African American culture. I appreciate their heritage. Where have I missed the mark? How have I offended God by my part of the racial issues in front of us?
The discussion brought up difficult topics. It also gave us hope. This couple, ministers as well as community leaders, put the emphasis on Jesus as the answer. The only lasting solution, even as they made it clear it was a difficult journey ahead because there are battles still to be fought, and if we don’t fight them God’s way, failure is the only option. I’m not quoting them, or even paraphrasing the things said. I’m sharing what my spirit got out of the discussion; how it is directing my heart toward change.
I’ve considered sharing the sermon on the home page if the appropriate permissions are given. And I’m confessing that this morning as I meditated on it all, I felt a total failure. Who am I, a sixty-plus white woman, to think I can make a difference? Some days I can barely walk without grimacing. I have to rely on other folks to get anywhere. This was a Christian facility built by the church next door. As the years go by, new people replace those who have died or moved on. A few years back, they turned over the managing of the complex to a housing management company. It does not have the apparent Christian theme it once did. As significant crime in the city inches closer and closer, as lesser offenses have already found their way here, it is comfortable, safe, to just sit and look out my second-story window at a world I don’t know how to communicate with.
But I can’t do that. I see my own failings, and I want to berate myself for all the mistakes I’ve personally made—the thoughts I’ve had. The unknown silent expressions of racism I know have existed in my world. But I’m helpless. I’m hopeless.
Yeah, I wrote those words, and then had to laugh as that still small voice whispered clearly, “you’re what?”
Helpless, yes, on my own. In Christ, never. Hopeless – that’s a choice to be made, and I chose a long time ago not to go there, the quickness of God’s response evidence of that choice. So, I do what I can. I pray. I research. I write. In the future, maybe I’ll contact some folks, rebuild this website, be the kind of communicating believer I am called to be.
But for now, I muddle through. Working things out on this blog, grateful for your patience. Each season we find growth if we’re looking for it. This is a new season, and I pray the growth will be tremendous.
But, for now, this has gotten too long. The rain has stopped, the sun is partially out, and my spirit has been soothed in this process. But it’s time to do some work. Always remember just how much God loves you. How much He is offering in helping us all conform to the image of Christ.
Blessings – Vicki