I’m so thankful that I teach at a school that a handful of years ago said we’re going to face our biases together. We’re going to understand systemic racism. We’re going to struggle through learning how to engage in courageous conversations with each other. We’re going to develop cultural proficiency in our classrooms. Y’all, this is hard, deep-seated, HEART work. It’s small, DAILY steps that start with authentically LISTENING in order to dismantle the white defensiveness that thwarts empathy and change. I have to question my thoughts, reactions, and fears every day. I have to recognize the impact of my white privilege on others. I don’t want to sit at a table filled with conversations and experiences that mirror my own. I don’t want to silently bear witness to the fears that protect racism in our communities. It seems to me that such fear is born out of the hateful racist lie that justice for the oppressed means a loss of liberty for the privileged. That is a toxic, nasty fear that I think we as white people like to pretend doesn’t exist. But it’s there, lurking behind the demonization of protestors and calls for justice. Violence, racism, and justice are not political issues. They are heart issues. What continues to have the greatest impact on my understanding of racial injustice and of how my whiteness insulates my life has been choosing to follow Black social activists on social media, choosing Bible studies led by women of color, by challenging myself to mostly read books written by BIPOC. While my journey began awhile ago, it is NEVER over. I make mistakes. I don’t always speak up when I should. Many times I still don’t know what to say or I say the wrong things. These times are difficult and heart breaking. On my newsfeed, I’ve seen God’s name invoked as a white defensive strategy against listening to the voices of the oppressed. God calls us to stand with the oppressed. I’m so thankful that the pastor of my church shared this beautiful message of hope and justice from Pastor Parker of David Chapel Church. I’ve been asking myself, what now? What are the next steps I need to take? First and foremost, I’m committing to 40 days of serious work in prayer with God in my war room, aka my closet. I spend time in prayer and reading the Bible mostly everyday, usually in my kitchen, but I hear God asking me to go in deep, so that’s what I’m going to do. Join me tomorrow morning in your own war rooms if you’d like! I’m also committing to seeking out and supporting Black owned businesses in my community. I’m renewing my commitment to listening and being educated about racial injustice in our communities. I’m committing to educating my daughter with the real truths about our lives and the role we play in systemic racism. Racism, however covert, is a sin, and I’m committing to not being complicit in that sin through silence.

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