So today as I watch the news and watch officer involved shootings, I am…? I am not even sure. I am angry and upset. I am so sad that families will be going through the emotional roller coaster, that is now their new normal. I am tired of seeing the same bad decision making, incident after incident.
I called my son, because I knew he would be angry. As I spoke with him, I tried to work through what I was thinking, while giving him what I hoped would be wisdom. So I told my son that the best way we can do something at this point would be personal. (At this point, I had a whole paragraph of some of the things that I think need to be addressed, but trying to keep opinion out and see what God teaches me through this.)
So it needs to be something personal. What is that? Well again, it is sharing my own story. Last year I was watching a PBS show that was highlighting the study, “An American Dilemma” by Gunnar Myrdal. It was a study done on race relations in the early forties. It was during this program that they spoke about the IAT, which is the Implicit Association Test. This test attempts to measure the strength of association between concepts. It is basically a tool to try and test subconscious prejudices. To make a long story short, I went online and tried one out. It showed that I have an implicit preference for white faces. That would make sense, as that is what I see in the mirror every day, and for most of my life I have been surrounded more by white faces. That also made me sad. How does that implicit preference affect how I act? What are those subconscious prejudices that I take with me?
It was important to me because I come into contact with different people each day. In my Sunday School class, I have kids from all different races and backgrounds. Do I see them any differently? Do I treat them with different methods based on their skin color? My son was surprised when I told him the findings, because he does not see any prejudice in his mother. It was actually glad that God would urge me in this way to examine my life.
So I thought I would share this information with my Bible study group. God using this secular study, as a means to open my eyes to what is in my own brain. I shared that night, and was surprised by one of the responses. One of the ladies blamed my response on the liberal media and guilt. I was somewhat hurt, because even if she did not believe it, she basically said I was wrong. That made me angry, and when I am angry I close down. So I pretty much dropped it, and was OK never to bring it up with her again.
What made me sad though was the fact that she took what was personal to me, and made it a political issue. This was never about politics. It was about God revealing what is in my brain. Not that I am a big racist or anything, but even a really nice lady like me can have some subconscious prejudices that may color my judgment. Now I can be on guard against that. Praise God!!
Well, now here comes my confession. This happened sometime last year, and I am just writing about it now. Why? I did not want to start a brouhaha over what she might read. Maybe she would be mad, or hurt. I did not want to rock the boat. The problem with that though is maybe in this life, there are not enough of us rocking the boat.
We either disagree and “vent”, and that does not help. Or like me, shut down and don’t bring it up again. Either way, it does us no good. I am ok to agree to disagree, but I never get to that point. I get too angry to even start a conversation, let alone finish it. That has to stop. I believe that God has given me a voice to use, but for far too long I have stayed silent. There is an old conversation going on in our country, but it is time maybe to approach it in a new way. As Christian’s, we need to be a part of it.
I told my son last night that God has put justice into the world. We have hope in that. Where is this justice that we should see? We are God’s conduit of justice, and if we do not see it around us, that probably means that it is not flowing through us. God help us!