This week in the Daily Dose we’re exploring the benefits of community on our mental, emotional and spiritual health. But we cannot hope to ever find this kind of community if the community is not what God intended. In the face of heartbreaking injustices like the killing of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd I am struck by how much, as a white man living in the rural South, I am not in true community with my friends of color, and how much further we have to go.
I may have spent time with them and had significant conversations with them and eaten meals in their homes and they in mine. But in the moments of pain, when they’re looking for allies and real community, how often have I reached out? How many of them to me? A few times. I count those as some of my proudest moments when I could weep and mourn and stand with my friends of color over issues of police violence, systemic racism, immigration abuses and more. But if I hope to experience the true community of God, I better be spending time with a lot of people who don’t look, think or act like me.
Primarily because God makes it clear that his intention is for every tribe, tongue and nation to be united. He makes it clear that He created each and every one of us. CREATED. IN HIS IMAGE. That means we are equal and designed to be together – by God. We should also be seeking it because it is the pathway to wholeness. If it’s God’s intended design, we won’t find the deepest wholeness until we are living in radical community.
Yet we have tragically and deeply divided over all sorts of things. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. What can we do?
I don’t have all the answers, but as we think about bringing the community of God together for the good of all and as we think about our mental and emotional health this week I want to start with a simple call to action: check in on one another. If you’re white, ask your friends of color how they’re feeling in this time. If you’re a person of color, boldly express your feelings to your white friends and offer them the gracious gift of yourself. If you’re a leader, lead in ways that model this kind of radical community. If you’re a Jesus-follower, follow him in his boundary-crossing, revolutionary ways of giving dignity and seeking justice for all people, even when it’s uncomfortable, even unto death.
Oh Father, help us. We desperately need you.
Grace and Peace,