I felt like I needed to write…to say something, to speak up about what’s going on in the world right now. And then my wife wrote this…and I was awed and amazed by the beauty of her words. With that I’m done talking…here are her words:
This morning I woke up with a clear calling.
“Go. You can’t stay home and hide today.”
We sat our kids down and had a real conversation with them about what is going on around the world. This can be hard to do with young kids and as white parents we’ve lived in the privilege of waiting until this moment now to start the conversation – to hope they can do better – to grow them up not only to be kind and caring but to also be actively anti-racist.
We told them black lives matter. We told them we will not stand by and let hate win. We told them – then we showed them.
We drove around downtown Salem to see what happened last night. Mike and I had watched the protests last night and seen how beautifully the protesters worked together to have a moment of silence, to take a knee and show respect – and we watched as the louder more aggressive outliers yell over the protestors and caused chaos and damage.
Let me be very clear – we stand with those protestors. Black lives matter.
We parked our car at the Capitol and walked the same streets that were filled last night. We picked up trash we saw on the streets and then I prayed. I sat on those steps and prayed, hot tears of anger and sorrow flowing.
“Lord, give us compassion. Help us love each other fearlessly. Help us to stand up and incite change. Help us raise up children that can overhaul the systematic oppression that is so deeply ingrained in our culture.
Help us see. Through your eyes, through their eyes – open our hearts to understanding. Cast out fear and hate. Clear our vision so we can pay attention to what is truly important here. Make our paths known. And then, oh Lord give us the courage and the wisdom to walk those paths hand in hand. “
You may feel like your voice is small, your part in this unknown. And I get it. I feel that way too. But your small voice + my small voice + the voices of the children we are raising = great possibilities for change and understanding.
If you are a white parent I encourage you to talk to your children about the realities that black people in America face. Open their eyes and let them be an active part of the change. Foster in them love and understanding, empathy and awareness. This is no small task – I am assured however that the impact will be great.
What else can we do?
Use our voices. I don’t know what that looks like for you – but I have a sneaking suspicion that you already know in your heart what that looks like for you. Do it. Use your voice. It may look like a battle cry and it may look like silent prayers on the steps of the Capitol. Oh the power there is in that voice. You are powerful – you do have a voice – and you can do something. Say something. Pray something.
This is no small task.
We do not go unafraid. We are afraid yet we march forward because we know, we know – this isn’t the way God designed us. This is hatred and evil. And that, that my friends I will not stand silently by and watch.