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Again I appeal to the church.  When we share our experiences with racism I sometimes wonder if the silence is also because of not knowing how to respond?  Maybe you think “Well I’m not racist…I didn’t do that…What am I supposed to say or do?” etc.  But the scripture that comes to mind is Romans 12:15-16 “15Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but enjoy the company of the lowly. Do not be conceited.…”  We can only live in harmony with each other if we join in the struggle together.  Whether you feel responsible or not, whether you even understand or not, if you have a friend of color who is saying “I am experiencing racism. I am experiencing hurt because of the racism that is happening to my people.” Then there should first be a belief that their feelings are valid, then there should be empathy and care. Jesus, felt empathy and care for every one who was hurting.  He did not try to disprove their feelings, but he accepted that it what they felt, and he cared. Simple as that.  He did not ignore them. He did not say, “Well that’s their problem or it’s not my fault.” He wept. That’s why I think God put that 2-word verse in the Bible:  “Jesus wept.”  It says that when he looked around at all the pain of those who were grieving at the funeral, it says that he wept.

I love when the few friends I have on social media message me to let me know they are “weeping with me”, trying to understand, trying to learn how to do better with relating to people of color or when people simply say in response to a post about racism , “I’m sorry and I love you.” They are not feeling or carrying guilt, but they are simply saying, “Because you are my friend, I hurt with you. Because I care about the pain of others, I will boldly voice that I hate racism and injustice.”

You can vote for Trump or whoever and still feel and voice the empathy. My dad says that at the Promise Keepers conference he went to years ago the on thing that touched him was when white men came up to him and hugged him and apologized. Not because they are carrying guilt, but just as Jesus was willing to take on the sin of the world to bring about forgiveness and restoration, these men were willing to “take on” the sin of their ancestors.  They were also willing to feel the compassion of Jesus, because he resides in them and that same compassion should be flowing through them.



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