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My Blindness

Am I a racist? I like to believe I”m not.

Is the church racist? I like to believe its not either.

Is my church racist?  We try to act like we are not.

In John’s story of the man born blind (Chapter 9).  Jesus tells the pharisees and us that “If you were blind, you would not have sin.  But now that you say ‘We see,’ your sin remains.  In a recent sermon, I preached in lent on the man born blind.  I found this statement challenging for the church and myself.  I reflected, “I am not a racist, yet I am blind to racism all around me.”

I had great friends in elementary school, middle school, and high school who were African-American.  I had a few in college.  They taught me so much about life, friendship, and … the challenges of racial relationships in Memphis, Mayfield, and a private Christian College.  But where are those friendships in my life today?

CYMT’s second year students are looking this week at a piece of Beverly Tatum’s “Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”  She rightfully points to fear. Why are we so afraid of the other?  Why are we so insecure in our place on the bus that we can’t let others sit beside us?

I live in a community that is insulated from racial diversity – 94% white.  There are many wonderful attributes in our community – value on education, opportunity, nature, safety – but it does not reflect the real world.  I am afraid that we have created a space that keeps others out to protect our insecurities, than a place that is truly about expanding opportunities.   Our community has it all or do we.  We are rich and yet we are poor.  Our blindness and fear has prevented us from a larger world that looks more like the kindgom of God.  I have a fear that my daughters will not be prepared for the world because where they live looks very little like the real world.

My blindness is apparent.  Will I look for new relationships with my brothers and sisters of another color or race?  Will I like the lawyer in A Time to Kill take my family across the “tracks” and overcome our fears while teaching our children.  Can I recognize my Lord and Savior if I do not acknowledge my Brother and Sister in Christ?

Jesus heal my blindness!

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Categories: Youth Ministry
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