Monday, July 11, 2016

You Are Valuable

Psalm 139:14

14I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that  my soul knows very well.

I know that many of you if not all of you have heard or seen what has played out. God brought to my remembrance my first experience with racism.  I was six years old when I became aware of the color line. However I was eight years old the first time I was consciously aware of experiencing racism. My Mom and I had just moved to the DC/MD/VA area. I was attending a new school. It was during Autumn. I was frequently being picked on by two little White girls in the class. One was shorter than me and one was taller. I had a habit of ignoring them. But on this one particular day, things took a turn. It was lunch time. I had my favorite Wonder Woman metal lunch box. I got up from the lunch room after I finished eating to use the restroom. I thought the door had closed behind me. As I went into the stall I saw two sets of feet. The two White girls were standing outside of my stall as I finished. They were hurling insults including the "N" word very loudly. They were saying I thought I was better than them because I was built different. I only repeatedly asked to be left alone because I didn't do anything to them.  But when I opened the bathroom stall door, the White girls pushed me back in. My instinct kicked in. I had my lunch box in my hand. I swung and hit the shorter girl in the face. Both girls were so appalled of my fighting back that they ran out and told the teacher. I was the one who got in trouble. When approached by our teacher,  I was told I should've told the teacher they were bothering me. But how was I supposed to tell when I couldn't get out of the stall without fighting them or letting them beat me? It was real. I was being conditioned by Whites and those in authority that defending myself and standing up for myself against racism and violence was wrong. However, my Mom taught me a different way. I suspect the teacher knew why and that was the only reason my Mom was not called. Conclusion, fear and hate are learned behaviors.

I am sharing because as my Pastor shared with our multi-cultural church family yesterday, violence against African-Americans at the hands of authorities is real and has been happening for a long time. He even confessed about being stopped by police for the color of his skin four times in a 24hour period for the same reason. There are many examples which can be shared. As African-American, we have been struggling with violence against us at the hands of authorities since we were brought to this country. It is the same reason I decided long ago not to hate. I simply have spent most of my life proving I have value, until Jesus showed me that because He created me and everyone else on this earth that we are all valuable. You are loved by God because you are His work. Though I have a previously scheduled event this Wednesday, our church is providing a prayer service and conversation open to those who wish to attend. For those who want to attend, you can reach out to me and I will share it with you.