For a while, I’m going to use Food For the Flock to reflect on systematic racism. During the past weeks systematic racism has been uncovered. It is not enough. This discovery is like the tip of an iceberg where as much as 90% is underwater. I’m learning. I am not an expert. I hope you will engage your heart and mind along with mine. Sometimes it will be uncomfortable. White privilege is real. I’m seeing more ways that I have benefitted because of skin color. This won’t be about politics. It’s about how we understand and respond to racism as Christians. How does this passage shape a faithful response?
“O Mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” -Micah 6:8
For as long as I can remember, water has been a place of recreation and relaxation. I love to body surf in the ocean, go crabbing on a creek, paddle a river with rapids, go tubing, or sit beside a body of water and let it soothe my soul. Water life, salt life, yup that’s where I want to be.
Fifteen years ago I wanted to participate in triathlons. At best, all I could do was a rudimentary crawl or dog paddle. I had to learn to swim. Properly. I discovered that I was afraid to put my head in the water and I really didn’t like being in a pool or a lake where I couldn’t touch the bottom. I worked hard. My first triathlon was in a four-foot deep pool. Success. I did a few others -even a sprint tri with an open water swim.
I continued to be afraid of the water. My coach suggested a two-mile open water rope swim. It was held in a small man made lake. It would be a day trip. It attracted elite swimmers as well as people who wanted to test their skills. I decided to do it.
I swam a lot that winter. I smelled like chlorine. My skin was dry. The chlorine destroyed two swimsuits. That spring when I registered for the event, I entered a respectable time for my heat. I was ready when the event arrived. It was a beautiful midsummers day. I wasn’t one of the first to finish, but I wasn’t last either. It was a good day. It’s been great to add this lifetime sport to my activities.
William Faulkner said it best. “You can’t swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” We have to lose sight of what has been safe and secure (white privilege) and venture out. We have to wade into places that feel foreign. We have to see ourselves not as other, but as one body of Christ pained and broken in a fractured world.
This week if you haven’t done it already, watch the film, “Just Mercy”. What did you discover? (It’s free on Prime, Netflix or YouTube.)