Over the past two days, I’ve spent a long time reading and responding to your comments about race and church. You gave me hope. Thank you. Thank you for staying at the table, and for extending amazing amounts of incredible grace to one another. Thank you for giving each other — for giving me — space to ask the tough questions, and to test the waters in a brand new sea.
Thank you for sharing your stories. Thank you for reading each other’s stories. Thank you for hitting “publish” on comments that may have scared you to death. It has been a humbling experience to see you offer up such sacred words in this space.
For all these decades, I’ve wondered why I can’t shake these questions I have, especially when it comes to the church. And then, last night, I wrote this in response to a comment from Christina M:
When I was two years old, my parents were looking for a new church. They found a church in the Yellow Pages (remember those?) and we went one Sunday morning. My parents opened the door to the sanctuary, did “the sweep”, and realized there was only one other black family in the congregation. In that instant, they decided to leave, but by then, I had already toddled halfway down the aisle. They had no choice but to go in and find a seat, and we remained at that church for the next eight years until my dad was transferred to a different state. Crazy, huh?
I wrote that. And then I read it. I read it over and over and I wondered if, perhaps, God knew, even when I was two years old, that we would be having this conversation this month? I wondered if He knew that you would be the people who could have this conversation without stomping out of the room, or pointing fingers, or drawing a line in the sand and refusing to budge? I wonder what He’s up to?