Redemption City Church member, Trillia Newbell, is the author of United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity (Moody Publishers, March 2014). She is currently the consultant on Women’s Initiatives for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Following the choking death of Eric Garner in New York last month, Trillia shared the following wise post on her blog:
“This is straight from my heart to my keyboard to my site—right now. This won’t be carefully crafted, mulled-over for days words. I’ve been praying and so here is what I’ve been wondering. Why is the topic of racial injustice, discrimination, prejudice, hate, etc. still so polarizing in our country, especially among Christians?
I’ve recently become aware that my views on racism and specifically the Eric Garner case are a bit “radical”. Not only are they radical, these views could actually cause “friends” to distance themselves from me. We do that too often in Christian circles. I’ve been so very tempted to withdrawal. Private conversations often end with my friends pleading before Jesus for our country, the Christian community, and sustaining grace for the many of us who are sharing about these tough issues.
Here’s the thing, you don’t have to agree with all of the issues surrounding the case. We can all disagree about how the case was handled. We can disagree with intent of the officer, etc. But what we can’t ignore is that there is an entire community of people of all colors (but majority Black) who are mourning and grieving. We can’t ignore that.
That’s why I’m asking my fellow friends and anyone who reads this to consider putting down your arms and defenses and try to understand on a personal level. Get personal. My dear friend told me yesterday that he sees this as not an “issue” but a “person”. He is a white brother, he is like a brother. And he has made this personal. I told someone the other day that if he and I were sitting together, he would respond differently to me. There’s something that the Internet does to dehumanize and desensitize people. We forget that we are real, human, bleeding, breathing people.
Jesus cared about people—to the point of death. There is a sort of dying to ourselves we must do in order to try to relate to the pain of others, even if we think that pain is ridiculous. Today, I am so thankful for Jesus. I believe wholeheartedly that all this division and tension will one day end in rejoicing—together. We will one day join hands together! This brings my tear-filled eyes and heart great joy!
Christians, we are brothers and sisters. Let’s not forget this as we deal with these awful, heartbreaking situations. Let’s keep talking and learning how to love one another. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” 1 Peter 2:9.”
To find out more about Trillia Newbell and find links to more of her writing PLEASE CLICK HERE.