My heart has been broken over the past few weeks of racial unrest in America. The truth is this: My heart actually stays in a continual state of brokenness over the world we live in, over the choices that humanity makes, and over the angry hearts that seem to be leading the way.
My heart has been broken over the racial divide that is bitterly alienating people in this great nation that I love. My heart grieves when bullets fly ... when fathers are killed ... when police are vilified ... and when white vs. black or Hispanic vs. white becomes the source of bitter and enraged discourse.
I know that there are many reasons why this outbreak of racial tension has occurred. The answers can be found in philosophical reasoning, in socioeconomic inequities or in a history of unfair treatment that can explode in a moment's time.
But what can I do about it? What can I, as an ordinary white, middle-class Christian woman do to alleviate the pain that my brothers and sisters are enduring?
I will probably never speak before congress or be interviewed on an evening news show. I will probably never have the opportunity to obtain an audience with the power brokers of this generation or to write a flaming and righteous editorial that will be published in newspapers across the country.
I will never be asked to pose a question at a presidential debate.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, I remind myself daily that I am not powerless—I am powerful! Jesus has made me to be the carrier of His DNA to a world in pain. I am here at this very moment in history to right wrongs, to pray for peace and to show human kindness in the face of division and cruelty.
Like Esther, I am here for such a time as this!
I happen to believe that the power of kindness is more dynamic than the power of Congress. I know that I know that I know that kindness holds more intrinsic value than does a popular TV host or a blistering editorial that millions might read.
I can be kind. I can be intentionally kind. I can be proactively kind. I can be enthusiastically kind. I can be perpetually kind.
I can be kind to those who look different than me. I can be kind to those who believe differently than I do. I can be kind to those who choose differently than I do.
I can be kind to policeman and to people of different races. I can be kind to a young man whose body is covered with tattoos and piercings. I can be kind to people who are voting for a different candidate than I am. I can be kind to people who choose to be unkind to people like me.
I fervently believe that it is better to be kind than to be right. Perhaps the most powerful choice each one of us can make, rather than merely spouting opinions on social media, is to make a choice of kindness this week.
Pay for the dinner of a person whose skin color is different than yours.
Make eye contact with a young person whose skin is tattooed and smile at them. Ask them a question with joy and with meaning. "How are you doing today? You know, call me crazy, but I love encouraging people and I just want to tell you that your life matters to God!"
Make friends with someone whose heritage is different than yours. Peace starts with one relationship, one friendship, one loving word.
Take pizza or apple cider to the local police station or fire station.
Have a Republican—or a Democrat—over for dinner and refuse to talk about politics! Talk about music, travel, a good book, your children and your childhoods. You may discover that you have much more in common than what divides you.
Invite a conservative—or a liberal—out for a cup of coffee and refuse to talk about divisive issues. Talk about your favorite sports team, your holiday traditions, what you are thankful for, or plans for a future vacation. You may discover that this person is quite likable after all!
God never makes unity out of similarity but He always makes unity out of diversity. We are not cookie-cutter human beings, but everyone—black and white and Hispanic, Republican and Democrat, liberal and conservative, Harvard-educated and high school drop-outs—has a heart that loves deeply.
We all possess a vicious hope that peace really will win in the end, and we each embrace a quest for justice that is buried beneath our political leanings and our individual belief system.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." – Edmund Burke
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