As a privileged follower of Jesus, walking through life is not just about surviving, it's also about advocating. That means when I wake up in the morning, once I've breathed in the good air and remembered Whom I woke up with, my very next item of business is to ask, "Who do I fight for today?"
Some days I wake up struggling, so the fight is mostly for myself. I cling to truth, rest, and community. I acknowledge my limited amount of peace in a sinful world and generally just try to keep my eyes on Jesus for the day.
But on days I wake up with a bit more energy I am able to turn outward more.
I read an article the other day on a theory of racism. The CliffsNotes version is that there is no such thing as a non-racist in a racist system. When there is harm being done to a particular group directly related to their race, you either recognize the harm and actively fight against it (anti-racist) or you don't recognize the harm and passively support it (racist). To be non-racist would only be possible outside of a racist system.
To be fair, passive racism is not the same thing as active racism, but it's still racism (a disadvantaging, further harming of BIPOC). And to be anti-racist doesn't mean that you don't still have implicit bias (or subconscious fear and hate) running through your veins. If you're not sure about that, consider taking this self-assessment. It might blow your mind.
As one who has been given my freedom in Christ, I desire to be "against the harm" happening to any marginalized group. I recognize that I don't have an option to "do no harm" by idly standing by. I am either for them or against them. Unfortunately there is essentially an unlimited number of people currently being harmed in the world. I look out my window and see pain stretching in every direction. The question is not if there is harm, but which particular harm is the Lord calling me to address today.
Some days it's my own harm. Some days it's the harm of others.
I have a tattoo on my right forearm of a peace pipe. It's a symbol of Native culture extending peace and friendship to those previously at enmity with my community. My goal is to extend my peace pipe to as many as I can, one harmed person at a time.
Sharon McMahon says, "Hope is not a feeling we're waiting for, it is a choice we make. The antidote to despair is action." So let's take action today. Let's advocate.
Unsplash Meg Boulden.