I love pastoring my church. It’s the hardest thing my wife and I have ever done but we are blessed to have planted Quest Church in 2001. One of our visions for Quest was that it would grow to be a multiethnic and multigenerational church – not for any other reason than it reflects the vision of the Kingdom of God.
The challenges are real but one of the blessings of such a community is that it exposes the blind spots that we all have. All of us. And if you don’t think you have any, that’s proof you have blind spots. Imagine a church if only men were in leadership? Or if only women were in leadership? Imagine a church if only the older folks were in leadership? Or the entire church was completely homogeneous?
We would simply see things through a particular narrative or filter of lens.
And such is the general case, in my opinion, of how many are “seeing” the case and verdict of George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin.
I have encouraged my readers to consider taking the time to listen, seek to understand, and mourn with those who mourn.
I would additionally encourage you to not fall for the bait of the extremists or idiots on polar opposites. And by that, I’m talking about those that would resort to mayhem and violence or [shaking my head] those that would show up at a peaceful protest of young adults and kids…wearing a “Ni**er” shirt. These are rare stories and we would be wise not to allow them to hijack the large narratives of how people are genuinely seeking to process, understand, make sense, seek justice, and form their respective convictions.
But since we all have blind spots, we have to have the courage to examine our blind spots – perhaps even to begin by acknowledging we have them. Some of you insist you have none. We have to consider how we all choose (or have it be chosen for us) the filters by which we see and process things. This is why many have chosen to see the verdict purely from a legal or “evidence” perspective. As such, many of my readers or social media following have pushed back,
“Where is the concrete evidence that race was ever an issue?“
And that’s my point.
You’re asking the wrong questions.
It’s hard to explain if you haven’t experienced the nuances of being “an other”. I’ll write more of this another time but for now, I think we would all be amiss if we all don’t take the time to consider our respective blind spots. I have those blind spots, too, so I have been personally compelled to do so with all the respective comments, emails, and conversations that have been generated by the verdict.
As I shared earlier, I’m privileged to be a pastor to an imperfectly amazing church. Very imperfect. Very amazing. I wanted to share with you a very honest and raw piece written by one of my church folk. Her name is Wendi. Yes, she’s black. And yes, she has a son. And yes, he’s 17. And by the way, his name is Messiah. And yes, Wendi’s brilliant but I don’t need to spew her resume. Read the rest of this entry »