A few days ago a black friend of mine and I had a very heart-to-heart talk about the current racial tension in the U.S. He told me that he and his family have been hurt countless times over the years. This really touched my heart in very deep ways and I told him that I was eager to listen to everything he had to say. We talked for quite a long time.
73% of black children born in the United States do not have fathers.
There were a number of things he said that deeply troubled me. But I think the thing that bothered me the most, was when he said that his closest white friends have never broached the racial subject with him.
Silence separates, and is itself a racial statement.
Most white people think that by not bringing up the subject they are "being kind" to their black friends. Many black people would really like to know that we care enough to bring it up and discuss it.
So after we talked I sent him this email:
Yes, I agree to pray with you about the horrible racial issue in our nation.
I'm sure that you and your precious family have been emotionally hurt repeatedly
by many people and in many circumstances of life.
I'm sorry that you have not been able to discuss these deep issues with even your
"closest" white friends. This, in itself is a travesty, because many folks do not realize that silence
is a separator.
I told you just one incident how I was hurt deeply by a "Christian" friend.
If you ever just need to talk to someone about your hurts let me know.
I have lived in Africa and I have lived in Haiti. Many, many people in both places are
some of my dearest friends. I have lived in their homes, eaten with them, worshiped with them, prayed with them, and wept with them, and they with me. In the early days of my ministry I was kicked out of a church in Flint, Michigan because I brought black teenagers to the church building. I was so naive as to think that Jesus died for all mankind, exactly like John 3:16 tells us. :)
And, on the other end of the spectrum my life was threatened in Flint and Detroit by angry young black men, who never had a stay-at-home father. One night when I was out witnessing two thugs robbed me and I was almost stabbed. I kept telling them, "Jesus loves you so much." Actually, one of them almost broke down and wept as I gave them all my money and the watch that my deceased father-in-law from Haiti had given me. The last thing they heard as they ran down the street was, "I love you anyway, and so does Jesus!" My hope is that somewhere along life's journey that tiny seed sown into their hearts took root.
And, truly, I do not even recognize "color" when I am abroad. I must admit, though, that
here in the U.S. I am affected by it. But we must all overcome, really overcome.If things were different, the two of us could sit in front of our congregation some Sunday morning and talk openly back and forth for the duration. However, my guess is that some folks would get very upset and it might cause more harm than good.
Love and Prayers, Wes
Attention Obama: Your violent Criminal Son was not "minding his own business" that night: http://clashdaily.com/2013/07/memo-to-president-trayvon-your-violent-criminal-son-wasnt-just-minding-his-own-business/