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Monday, January 28, 2013

.Cadi's Story.


She is so much like me when it comes to writing. I find her stories scattered around the house, so much like the stories I used to write as a little girl. She is filling up her first journal, and I admit I have taken a peek, and she is a deep thinker with an old soul. I love this about my Cadi. However, this particular story disturbed me so much, that I had to write about it in order to process it. Here is what she wrote:

Alice Gives
by Cadi

Alice! Mommy called. Time to go to church.
No. said Alice.
Now. said Mommy.
But Mommy, Janie makes fun of me.
Janie? said Mommy questioningly. I thought Janie was your best friend.
She is, but our family is black and her family is white. She doesn't like black people. So she makes fun of me.
Well, I will talk to Janie's parents when we go to church, okay Hon?
Okay. said Alice.
Wait. I have to get something. said Alice.
Janie always liked this doll of mine. Her name is Anna. I will give it to her at church.
Good for you. said Mommy. Good for you!

Such a short, simple story, but it broke my heart. Because, although the characters have been changed, I know my Cadi has experienced rejection from a girl "friend" because she has two black brothers. What bothers me so much is that, although we are all born as sinners, from all that I have experienced, understand, and researched, children are taught racism and prejudice, primarily by their parents. So this little girl, in 2013, is growing up in a Christian home, and whether through spoken teachings or simply actions, is being taught at the very least, that black people are inferior to white people.

And I am just wondering how we can reach the world with the gospel of Jesus when our children are being taught such lies?

We are all made in God's image. I have stated that so many times here, and it is something so close to my heart. When we look at people and see the image of Almighty God it should propel us to love. One thing, I think, we followers of Jesus, fail to recognize, is that we are all made in the image of God - made. That means we are born in the image of God - every single person shares some traits of our Heavenly Father. Every person.

yes, that homeless bum on the street,

yes, that prostitute selling her body on the corner,

yes, that disabled child confined to a wheelchair,

yes, our black president,

yes, the cashier at the grocery store,

yes, your child's teacher,

yes, the mailman,

yes, that man on death row.

They all bare the image of God! 

When we stop and look at people through that lens it should change everything. Our family has been told so many times that racism and prejudices no longer exist in our country. I can say through shaking lips and tear-filled eyes, that they absolutely do exist, and they exist right in our own churches. Perhaps it is not as overt as it once was, but that does not make it any less damaging, any less sinful, any less hurtful.

My eyes are being opened to things I would have rather stayed blind to. It is horrible to see this kind of hate from the world, let alone fellow followers of  Jesus, toward my beloved children/family. It hurts to see how the Church has perpetuated this lie, and how destructive it is.

A few months back we were talking with Habi in the van on the way home from somewhere. He was absolutely astonished to learn that Jesus is not white. We explained how he probably looked more middle Eastern - dark complexioned, dark hair - probably even similar coloring to our Jamesy. Habi was dumbstruck, as he had been fed the American lies, by American mission teams, that went to Africa and showcased a white Jesus. I nearly sobbed, as I realized all that little statement meant to him, and I literally watched his heart melt and his defenses crumble as this truth sunk in. And that very night, Habi surrendered and asked Jesus to be the leader of his life. But it was not until we erased that lie.

Something needs to break and change inside of us until it is not us versus them anymore, until it is just us collective - a broken, fallen people, yes, made in the image of God, who all need rescuing. Not one of us is better or more deserving than the other. I want to see a difference in my daughter's generation, but when things like her story creep up, I feel discouraged and so sad.

Thankful to serve a God who loves justice and will one day right all of this horrible, horrible wrong.


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