Christina was the only black girl in my elementary school.
I didn’t notice that she was the only black girl, I only noticed that she was a nice girl.
So we ran around together at recess – swinging on swings, playing four square and tetherball.
I had no inkling that being friends with her was any different than being friends with anyone else.
Until a holiday gathering at my aunt’s house.
I didn’t hear what my grandma said, but I heard my mom reply, “Julie has a friend who is black.”
As if it were unusual.
As if my small, ordinary friendship with Christina was part of a large debate.
As if it were something for which to be proud?
That overheard, twenty-second interaction between my mom and her mom sowed a seed.
A subtle notion that befriending a black person was a charitable thing to do.
I’m listening to the talks from the MLK50 Conference in Memphis held earlier this month, which marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The one I listened to this morning is excellent:
“How could my heart not be filled with hope?”
I thought about the subtle insidiousness of open-hearted seeds sown benignly that are not benign at all.
I thought about how impossible it would be to root out every pretty weed that springs from them.
Every pretty weed that looks like it could be a flower.
Impossible if not for Christ.
A friend from my distant past – so distant that he didn’t know I am a Christian and it’s been over 35 years – recently sent me a message. In it he wrote, “…white Christians are done on this planet…they can flail against the wind all they want…no avail regardless or your politics.”
God’s aim is to restore everything back to the way He created it to be. Acts 3
He’s been setting mankind straight ever since He sent Jesus to show us what He’s really like, what He really cares about.
He’s setting us all straight and He’s started with His own house.
For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 1 Peter 4:17
Christians – no matter our color – are not done on this planet, but we are undergoing a transformation. So I guess it would be accurate to say white Christianity as it currently thinks and acts is done on this planet. And I hope so.
But Christians aren’t done.
And thank God, because if we were, what hope would there be for my message writing old friend?