The Man walked His talk. Although He admonished followers to “Consider the lilies of the field,” He did not suggest that we stride stupidly into a lion’s snare. To me, the lilies represent peace, sound judgment and all that embodies the opposite of fear and anguish.
So, what do we worry about today? Whom do we hold suspect? Which fears should be honored as legitimate and which can we discard as useless paranoia? This morning, I read, “There is a level in every human soul which knows no conflict, competition, or contempt.” Within that level of consciousness, we can abandon needless worry.
When we fear someone simply because that person’s skin tone differs from ours, or their name for God is foreign to our ears, or their sexual preference does not meet our likings, we lose sight of the lilies of the field. These fears differ significantly from situations in which true danger lurks.
The summer my son was six years old, our white church invited a black congregation to participate in a joint Vacation Bible School. It seemed like a great idea! My husband agreed to transport black children to our church. Early each morning, our son left with his dad on a bus, which we parked in front of our house. One evening, my six-year old asked, “Why do the kids make me sit by myself at the back of the bus?” His question initiated a painful conversation about injustices in history, continuing pain and ‘pay-backs’ related to long years of unkind treatment.
Fast forward. This week, I attended a meeting of Black Lives Matter. We listened to young, well-educated, black panel members share concerns and articulate ideas for new beginnings. Legitimate concerns need to be expressed and heard. Those of us who naively thought most racial prejudice ended now encounter a new reality. Old stereotypes thrive in the minds of blacks and whites alike. Continue reading