Bridges bring two opposite sides together and make it possible to cross from one side to the other. In the story Choose Life, Trisha Stewart is Angie’s next door neighbor and a good friend who happens to be white. Trisha is the bridge between two very different families. To quote from the book, Trisha “shatters her [Angie’s] long-held notions of the so-called dominant race”. She is the overcoming force of love that softens Angie’s hardened heart and opens the possibility of true peace.
There is a raging river between the races that can only be bridged by understanding rooted in love. If we are willing to lay hold of the light of the God Who created us, we can make a bridge and meet one another on either side or right in the middle. Mutual respect and acceptance of the whole person can begin the conversation that leads to healing.
The passing of laws can only do so much in our explosive world. Real change is a heart matter, a transformation that is permanent. God is the Author of such a transformation, if there are willing souls who want peace to prevail.
The “N” word is well known and despised by my generation because we know its true meaning and how it was (and still is) used. Each time the slur is hurled at someone, it leaves a wound, whether the person is aware of it or not. Contained in every letter are years of hatred and scorn, oppression and marginalization, injustice and discrimination. Its casual use among African-Americans as a term of brotherhood and friendship does not take the sting and humiliation away.
That word found a place in the mouth of one of my characters in the story Choose Life. It served its purpose of illustrating the darkness of racism in the human heart. Racial epitaphs are like knives meant to cut the heart, stripping people of their human dignity. But one thing is more powerful than words aimed to kill the spirit or bullets used to kill the body: Love. Specifically, God’s love.
From the deep pain of those who lost loved ones in Charleston, North Carolina, pour out forgiveness for the man responsible. I cannot fathom their pain, but I can get a tiny glimpse of the love that motivates them to forgive such a heinous act. They are taking after their Master, Jesus Christ, Who uttered the same words on the Cross after hateful men beat Him mercilessly and hung Him to die. This is what will overcome the hate and bring a healing balm for the personal and national wounds.
If you need any assistance on your journey, write me. I live to serve.
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Jesus Christ
How do you define a Black woman? There are many adjectives society attaches to us that don’t embrace the complexities of who we are at our hearts. We have a history of oppression, discrimination, and abuse, but those wounds do not define us, either. The movie and television characters that are made to look like us, are still only skin deep. God fashioned each one of us in a unique way, creating us with a special purpose, which is at the heart of living the abundant life. The pain and wounding we receive along the way covers that purpose with darkness and it is replaced with a life of fear, anger, and hatred, the equivalent of living while dead. We are confronted with a choice: Life or Death?
The character Angie Grier in my short story, Choose Life, struggles with this very same choice. Listen in as she comes to her decision: “She put her face against the cold stone (grave stone) then she lifted her eyes to the clear sky. ‘I let it all go, Lord. Oh Jesus, forgive me or let me die!’ She put her face against the stone again. It wasn’t long before she felt a gentle whisper in her soul: ‘Your sins are forgiven’.” Life means forgiveness. Forgiveness is on the road to wholeness.
Angie is a fictional character, but you are not. Choose the way of Life, my dear friends. Forgiveness is just the beginning of uncovering your purpose. If you need assistance in this process, write me. I live to serve.
“I (God) call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose Life.” Deuteronomy 30:19
Forgiven. What a joyous word! It gives the forgiven one freedom, but it especially gives the one extending forgiveness release to live a peace-filled life. Angie Grier, from my story Choose Life, has nursed the wounds caused by racism for many years, though she is able to hide her rage behind the mask of religion. She is trapped in her own bitterness and uses it to justify the hatred she feels for white people: “For the first time she wondered about herself, but then she again reasoned that she was justified. Look at all the years of brutal treatment her race had suffered.” Does it matter whether hatred that erupts into violence comes from the heart of a Black or a White person? Is it justified and excused in one while the other is condemned? I think not. Angie believes she has the right to feel as she does and do what she needs to do in order to satisfy that hatred, even if it means going against her cherished beliefs. However, she is confronted with God’s take on the matter, just as we are today. Listen to His counsel: “Love your enemies…” and in another place “forgive one another as God, for Christ’s sake, has forgiven you”. That’s all I need to convince me that hatred and violence, whether from Blacks or Whites, is wrong. But there is a way out, a healing for the wounds racism causes. Face your wounds and find powerful healing in God, Whose essence is love. Then live in peace with all people.
If you need help on the journey, write me. I live to serve.