Again, find a comfortable place to sit for a time of connecting to God. It’s helpful to have a time and place to meet with God, much like regular date spot.
Read the following Psalm three times, the first time simply read it slowly out loud if possible. The second time pay attention to which words or images stick out to you. Write these words in a journal or on a scrap of paper. The third time ask what these words mean to you today.
Psalm 139: 13-18 & 23-24
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
“It’s easy to overlook what we’re not looking for.”
The following activity has been adapted from the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge by Debbie Irving.
Notice & Respond:
Instead of trying not to notice color around you in hopes of treating everyone equally, start to notice how people of color are present (or not) in your world.
Write about this in your journal or on social media or talk about it with a friend.
- Who are your ten closest friends? What is the racial mix in this group?
- What percentage of the day are you with people of your own racial identity? What’s the racial composition of the people around you?
- Who is filling what kinds of jobs/social roles in your world? (e.g. Who’s the store manager and who’s stocking the shelves? Who’s waiting on tables and who’s busing the food?) Can you correlate any of this to racial identity?
- If you’re traveling by car, train, or air, do you notice housing patterns? How is housing arranged? Who lives near the downtown commerce area and who does not? Who lives near the waterfront and who does not? Who lives in industrial areas and who does not? What is the density of a given neighborhood? Can you correlate any of this to racial identity?
Read this short article in the Atlantic from 2013. It is the account of President Obama being mistaken for a server.
Or if you have time and are more the bookish type (like me) read this article America’s Enduring Caste System from the NYT this last weekend. In it, Isabel Wilkerson writes,
“many people — including those we might see as good and kind people — could be casteist, meaning invested in keeping the hierarchy as it is or content to do nothing to change it, but not racist in the classical sense, not active and openly hateful of this or that group.”
You taught that in the Kingdom of God the first will be last and the last will be first. Open our eyes to the ways we have tried to keep things in place–the way they are. The first–first and the last–last. By the power of your love, break the bonds of the cast system that keeps Black people on one side of town and White people on another. We want to be people of your Kingdom.