The Bridge-IS BACK!-July 30, 2009
Posted on July 30, 2009 by under Outreach and Missions,

“RACE MATTERS . . . but the children will lead us”

As I watch the news and listen to the commentary on President Obama’s beer with the professor and the police, I am again reminded that we are a nation of race.  As a nation of diversity, there is racism.  I am one of those who believe that racism is a very BIG sin and that we are all racist (I am sure I will hear arguments about that one).  Coming from a school where our children were minorities to a school and community where most people are white, the difference in exposure is drastic.  As I move from downtown Poughkeepsie to the youth house I am amazed at the drastic change in only a few miles.  As our denomination looks at embracing the Belhar Confession and as we struggle with what it is to be radical followers of Jesus Christ, we need to face the issue of race in our community, schools and church. 

But I have great hope in our children.  I was reminded at Kyle’s surgery how children break down racial and religious barriers.

We enter the waiting room with six other families and quickly realize we are the only one’s who speak one language.  We had an Orthodox Jewish couple speaking Hebrew while the Muslim couple was speaking in their native tongue.  Two Spanish speaking mothers sat together while the two Chinese families talked.  At one point, when the room was quiet, I looked around to see the Jewish mother reading a Hebrew scripture, the Spanish speaking mother a Bible, and the Muslim mother was obviously praying.  We said little to anyone.  One by one families left the waiting room and went to the recovery room.  Kyle being the second to last out of surgery, we watched these strange companions leave.  I was amazed that in a world where Jews, Christians and Muslims are killing one another, there is peace in a pediatric waiting room  because we are focused on our children.  In a world where Chinese, US and South American tensions rise, we all sat in shared fear and anguish.  We were the only family staying the night, so we also watched this mixed up group go home.  As the Chinese father, who had said nothing to me all day, carried his son past me while I held the hand of mine, he smiled, put a thumb up and hugged his son.  A glimpse of the Kingdom of God!

We need to be very careful of what we teach our children.  They already don’t see the color of another.  That they learn from us.  We must also remember that it is for the sake of children that we want a better place to call home.  We must also look to our children to place us in situations where the color of our skin is an issue for the history books.

I invite anyone who is feeling stirred by the Spirit around racial issues to contact me as we explore what God might be calling HRC to do in this area.

Until Next Week . . . Mark