Honest truth-telling here: I’d love to tell you I am compassionate and easily forgive a wrong.
I’d love to be able to express, gently, simply, bibically, how I do it.
The truth is, friends, I’d be lying.
Recently, I was witness to someone who made a racially insensitive remark (that is putting it mildly). It was so offensive, I was stunned into silence. I was not the only one…
When I began to process the remark, I struggled to know what to do. Because, in not speaking up in the moment, I left my friends who are black- and brown-skinned sitting there in the silence. They may have seen the shock on my face, but they didn’t hear me say anything to denounce it. They were twice victimized.
I was an accessory to this racist moment by not speaking up.
The person wrote a defensive, self-justifying “apology” — which made things worse.
I was afraid to say anything, because the person who committed this act has a great deal of authority… and I was afraid I would be targeted, or face retribution. I thought only of myself… and not the well-being of people around me.
But finally, I got over myself. My anger rose to such an extent that I was compelled to speak up, and joined my voice with others to file an official complaint.
The result of our complaint was… nothing. A big ol’ nothing-burger. And in the wake of that decision, things are kinda like a dumpster fire out there.
So what do I do with this anger? Anger with myself, with the person, with the leaders involved? I’m in a “turn-over-the-tables” kind of mood. A “do-no-harm-but-take-no-shit” mindset. And it is very, very hard to know if this is my Pride talking, or the Spirit of the Lord.
This is real life…