Thursday, December 3, 2015

the world at our doorstep

There's a really great work God is up to in our college community!  I spoke with a friend, Kathrine, yesterday as we were waiting in a food line, and I had the pleasure of listening to a little more of her experience with an international community of friends at UNI.  Kathrine and Paul have opened their home to a growing community of college students that includes both internationally-born and nationally-born young adults who are regularly coming together for Friday night meals and who are cultivating transformative friendships across culture and language.  

In a time in which our media pounds us with images and stories that grow a sense of hostility and fear across our country, we need to hear more of these stories of people loving their neighbor and forming communities of friendship.  Stories of people who are caring and sharing together, breaking down walls, and working together to build peace, hope, and beauty in the places they live. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

truth-telling through history

We stole people and stripped them from their homeland, history, culture, families, and dignity. We were wrong.  

We enslaved people as property, counted them as 3/5 a person, and justified the terrorizing of their lives in the name of American progress and economic gain.  We were wrong.

After slavery was abolished, we worked to shut down African-Americans' gains in education and politics with more injustice and by enforcing Jim Crow laws.  We were wrong.  

We lived by the laws of segregation that worked to keep a hierarchy of power and white supremacy in place.  We were wrong.

We continue today in segregation practices.  We don't tend to believe that history impacts today.  We don't tend to believe that we have internalized superiority or that we need to confess, repent, or heal.  We are wrong.  

I took these pictures as I walked through the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN, a few weeks ago.  My heart was heavy throughout the experience, and I found myself repeating "Lord, make me brave," over and over as I looked at my brave and persevering Black brothers and sisters through the past 400 years. Black lives matter.  Lord, your Kingdom come.