Pr. Cathy Daharsh
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. ~2 Corinthians 13:13
Posts have flooded my social media about the best way for white people to be allies with and advocates for our black brothers and sisters. Some say we need to speak up; some say we need to stay quiet for the black voices to be heard. Some say we need to make phone calls to public figures; some say we need to focus on our own family. While the advice can be confusing it highlights that we do not know exactly what to do because no one has figured out how to do this yet.
Maybe some of the words from 2 Corinthians 13:13 can give us some inspiration and guidance: love, grace, and communion. It’s interesting to think about these three words and how they lead to the other.
We could start with love. Learning the stories of the “other” and finding ways to love them for who they are and the experiences they have had. Even someone who has very little racial diversity around them can attempt to find something to learn and love about a community different from their own.
We could start with grace. There may be a hurt we have experienced by the hands of the “other” and we need to offer grace to heal. Just like we should not assume everyone of a group is bad we can acknowledge there may be some real hurts people have suffered at their hands. It is our job and the work of Jesus to offer grace and begin healing those hurts.
Or maybe the hurt is too deep. Maybe the lessons about the “other” make the doors of love and grace too narrow to walk through just yet. We could start with communion. Simply sharing space and being present with the “other” can break down walls. It is hard to hang on to anger or hurt when you make connections, when you begin to understand someone after you have looked in their eyes, exchanged a story or two, and connected in some way.
It seems the Trinity has modeled for us that there is more than one way to be unified with another. Once we have one of the three, love or grace or communion, the other two are easier to get at. We may still be working toward getting this right, but the goal is still worthy of our effort, and I believe is needed more than ever. Amen.