Still Pursuing the Dream: Pursue Knowledge and Understanding
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” -- Proverbs 3:5-6
“What do you want?” Jesus asked in John 1:38.
April 9, 2019, was the morning after the UVA Men’s Basketball team won our first NCAA Championship. My phone immediately filled up with calls and messages from family and friends, many of whom I hadn’t heard from for some time. Hearts were rejoicing, and it was easy to see why.
Just 12 months later my phone filled up again. This time calls from friends, dear brothers and sisters in Christ calling to check on me as the nation erupted in riots and violence behind the brutal deaths of numerous black people. It was easy for me to understand the calls a year prior. It wasn’t so clear why they were calling me then. Only, this time it was to tell me their hearts were broken. I am black, they are not. I have seen this pain and inequality my whole life. For most of my callers, it was new. Call after call, they asked me what they could do, and my response was consistently, “Go to God. Ask Him to give understanding of the history of the problem you most want corrected.”
I thought by now everyone in America was aware that Dr. King spoke, marched, peacefully protested, was beaten, arrested, jailed, and assassinated in pursuit of justice for black people of African descent in America. King wanted the people of America to understand that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Yet, my callers spoke to me from a place of heartbreak, surprised to realize that more than 50 years since Dr. King marched, the systemic injustice perpetrated on masses of people of my color still exists in this country.
Sports teams many times are comprised of coaches and athletes of different skin colors and ethnicities. In an effort to be the best team they can be in competition, the best teams choose to understand each member of the team. This deliberate action, to learn about the culture and history of each other, can transform strangers with prejudices into brothers and sisters with unconditional love for one another.
It’s difficult to have brutally honest conversations about the history of injustice towards black people. Yet, teams gain so much from the understanding that takes between all participants in those deep conversations. Therein lies a significant competitive advantage.
When we choose to trust the Lord Jesus with all of our hearts, we may come to terms with our ways of thinking and behaving towards black people of African descent, and it may not align with the Word of God, thus resulting in a broken heart. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us not to depend on our own understanding, but His. If we choose to seek and to do God’s Will, He will teach us to live as one people, one human race, comprised of many sizes shapes and colors, masterfully joined together to bring God glory, in the name of Jesus.
- Has your heart been broken over what you see happening today to black people of African descent in America? If so, what did it? If not, how come?
- What problem is God calling you to address along skin color and ethnicity lines?
Matthew 25:31-46; I Corinthians 13:1-13
“Heavenly Father give me eyes to see the injustices, ears to hear the shouts of pain, and hands to help bring equality and justice to all people through Jesus Christ and Him alone. Amen.”