I had this great post about creating more margin in our lives, so that we could live more healthy, full, and successful lives. I was going to talk about the importance of saying, “No,” as one of the best ways to create the margin that people desperately need in today’s society. And I still will post it. But not today.
Today, as I watch the news, I want to take this saying “No” to a deeper level. As I watched and read everything happening in Charlottesville, I am filled with anger, sadness, and frustration. I’m filled with thoughts like…
“Should I say something? “I don’t want to be one of ‘those’ people on Facebook, starting arguments” “I don’t want to cause any harm to the business I just started….”
However, I’m not writing this post because I “need” to, but because I want to speak up. You see, I don’t want to just say ‘No’ in order to have more margin in my life. I want to say NO in order to live a truly holy and righteous life, a life that is lived closely with Jesus. And my friends, the White Supremacist protesters in Charlottesville are not close to Jesus.
So, I’m saying NO to the idiots carrying torches in Charlottesville like they still live in the 1950’s..
I’m saying NO to White Supremacy.
I’m saying NO to trying to stay in the middle on injustices like racism.
I’m saying NO to my White friends that scare the crap out of me when they blame Obama for everything.
I’m saying NO to President Trump when he refuses to unequivocally say “No” himself to the facts of hatred happening in Charlottesville. He continues to show character of an accusatory man that I would never want my daughter to emulate.
Even though I didn’t vote for President Trump (or Hillary), my SILENCE of him in this moment would mean supporting the injustice he is refusing to name. As Reverend and Dr. Martin Luther King said,
“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”
One of my favorite authors and pastors, Jonathan Martin, tweeted a statement regarding Charlottesville and it has haunted me since I read it on my phone in a Chick-fil-a drive-thru. He said,
“Preachers, this is what happens when we "stay in our lane" saving souls, & leave the "real world" up to the politicians.”
I pride myself on trying to be bridge builder for different groups of people, but the bridge building mentality has been tested to the fullest since November. I’m realizing more and more that all too often, I stick to MY lane and MY world and leave the justice stuff to the missionaries or to some of my more liberal friends. However, I believe it’s simply cowardice on my part and the real reason for my silence is for fear of losing MY kingdom. And while I might hold on to my kingdom, I believe I am forsaking myself from experiencing the joy and peace of God’s Kingdom here on earth.
So I am asking for forgiveness if I have been too silent up until this point. I especially ask my Black friends for forgiveness, since this crap did not just begin in Charlottesville.
Before some of you start worrying about me, I WILL remain in my lane with Hopetown. I will continue my counseling of men and women towards wholeness and healing. However, I refuse to NOT use my platform, as unimpressive as it might be, to speak out when bullcrap happens like it has the past couple of days in my country, especially crap like the President refusing to name and call out the true ugliness and ungodliness of White Supremacy.
As my beautiful and wise wife posted on Facebook earlier, she said that we are “Overwhelmed with what to do tonight...Prayer, reflection of my unknown prejudices, repentance, realizing the weight & importance of raising my white daughter to love, honor, & defend people who are different than her. May I lead her by my example.”
And that is why I’m writing this to you. This is not just for me. This is for my marriage. This is for Hopetown. This is for my conservative, white friends. This is for my liberal friends. This is for my younger brothers and sisters in Christ who may look at me as an example on how to follow Jesus. This is for my black niece, Charlotte. This is for my pale, white, blue-eyed, blonde-haired little girl who is currently asleep upstairs in her strawberry-footed onesie, with no ability to yet understand the injustices and evil which reside in the world she lives in today.
I pray she is one day proud of her mom and dad who know when to speak and when to remain silent or when to stand and when to sit down. I pray she sees a mom and dad who do what is right, and are quick to repent when they are in the wrong. I pray she truly understands the Kingdom of God is for EVERYONE and ANYONE, and that she never supports anyone or anything that would try to demonize “the others” of the world. I pray she would know when to say YES and when to emphatically say HELL NO!
Photo by Kayla Velasquez