We have to stop to make it stop.
We have to come back and address our racism and say we are sorry to move forward.
We have to stop preaching the wrong things from the pulpit—our views, what makes the pew warmers happy or comfortable—and preach truth…the reality in America, reality in our heart and harder things addressing the real problem to change.
In 2017 after the world was up in arms over #takeaknee I went to church hoping to hear a sound word of truth and encouragement in the storm.
The youth pastor, who we hoped was breathing truth into hearts of youth in our community, preached that Sunday and addressing #blacklivesmatter actually made his sermon title point “All Lives Matter”.
Over and over again he said it in his whiteness to a mostly white congregation.
Over and over my heart cringed.
I wanted to stand up and make him stop.
I wanted to tell him he didn’t get it.
I wanted in the very least to walk up to him after his sermon and tell him he had it all wrong and wasn’t listening.
But instead that day we left.
And that was where I got it wrong too.
We have to say when we are missing the mark.
We have to come back to pulpit when we say it wrong and say it.
We have to listen, stand up and speak up.
We have to address it.
Don’t worry—we left that day.
We left and while we love that church it wasn’t our place or our people.
We went back to our diverse church with our solid pastor who happens to be black and addresses race in America with boldness and truth.
It’s where we need to be.
That is a start for all us finding our people who help us SEE and encouraging us to understand and love in ways we don’t understand because it took some of us (me) to really see.
But when we see things…
When we hear things…
When we do things and say things that we know are wrong—
We have to be brave and speak up…
and even say we are sorry.
I’m sorry I just left that day. I’m sorry I didn’t walk down that aisle and tell that youth pastor he had it backwards and wasn’t listening and was misleading the flock that day. He had the opportunity to help so many see “Black Lives Matter” and I stead he watered it down that day to make the pew warmers happy, to try to bring quick peace and tie it all up with an eloquent well spoken bow. He was wrong. But I was more wrong for not telling him. I was wrong for not speaking up. And for that…
I am sorry.
Ally Henny wrote…
“Our ancestor Maya Angelou told us that when people show us who they are, believe them the first time. There are a whole lot of people who are doing a whole lot of telling on themselves when it comes to racism.
Don’t let people guilt you into taking their abuse in the name of friendship, solidarity, peace, Christian unity, or any other of the bull crap justifications that people create to excuse their nonsense. You don’t have to take any of it.
Whiteness will rationalize, justify, and cry crocodile tears in order to maintain dominance. Whiteness will try to make on like you’re the problem and will have you making apologies if you’re not careful.
I believe that people have the power to change, but I recognize that its not my job to try to convince people to change who are perfectly happy with who they are. As Mother Angelou said, people know themselves better then we do. I believe that people know that they’re racist and that they think racist things; they just don’t want to change. The people who do change, do so because they want to.
All we can do is to continue to speak the truth. Our words fall on who they fall on. It’s okay to shake the dust off of your feet and to move on from people and relationships that continue to do harm.”
Do what you have to do…need to do to make a difference.
Leave the places, the people, the things that do more harm than good because they are preaching the wrong sermons from the pulpit—dust your feet off and run to change.