Few people of color expect those of us who are not to ever understand. They know that their world seldom crosses into ours. To be white in a majority culture means never having to face the unspoken recognition that in spite of progress in some areas of racial concern, racism resides at or just below the surface all the time.
With the new trauma of yet another violent death facing the nation, the sense of powerless frustration…the boiling caldrons of anger…the inexplicable reactions…all point to a deeper pain than cannot be translated across racial lines. For that, I am grieved. So many of my strongest friendships cross those lines. So many of the relationships that enrich my life are limited because the world I live in and the world my friends of color live in are just not the same. I never think of being unjustly profiled. Few people of color ever spend a day without thinking about it.
I grew up and have spent most of my life in the South, surrounded by and loving the racial diversity here. Yet I have lived through riots in the late sixties and wept as friends lost family members in the streets. But I was never really afraid of what could happen because of the color of my skin. Tonight I read with profound sadness the thoughts of a good friend on what it means to be black in America, the fears of what still can happen and the feeling of impotence to do anything to guarantee that things will be different for your own kids. Many whites will respond to the tensions by focusing on the criminal acts of a few trouble-makers, but they will excuse themselves from the troubling considerations of what other factors are at work to generate such powerful passions of racial tension.
Please read this blog post by Thabiti Anyabwile. After many years serving as a pastor outside the United States, he has come back to plant a new church. Hear what he says and try to understand an experience of life in our nation that you cannot fully grasp unless you are from a minority group. And after you read it, I do hope you will have learned how to pray in a more informed manner and see the breadth of the racial problem with fresh eyes. To Thabiti, I say thanks again for your way of capturing heart and mind as you open eyes to see how great our need is for the healing grace and transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Come, Lord Jesus!