To my church family and to my country…
You are so NOT ready.
I had dinner last night, with a young black man. Great guy. A new friend. Yet very much a stranger. We had great food and good conversation.
Then, the conversation changed.
I dared to ask the question.
I dared to start the conversation.
The one the African-American community has been wanting to have.
The one that people on the front lines of race relations and community interaction have been asking for.
The one that begs to be had in light of tragic events that have transpired again in the past few days.
And I have to tell you, you are not ready. You may think you are, perhaps there’s a small percentage or more likely, a fraction of a percentage that actually are ready, but that’s it.
The church is not ready.
The community is not ready.
The nation is not ready.
Neither of us got offended. Neither of us got upset.
We are both Christian. We both pray. We both read the same Bible.
I shared my understanding of what is going on and ultimately, the place that we need to arrive at; that I honestly don’t know that we ever will. He shared some responses and some insights in return.
But when it was all over, you could tell. We both came to same conclusion.
The conversation regarding race relations, regarding law enforcement and criminal activity, the economic issues, the political spectrum, the spiritual truth, the human condition…
Society as a whole is NOT Ready to have this conversation.
The church, sadly, is NOT Ready to have this conversation.
The community is NOT Ready to have this conversation.
It will be difficult. It will be challenging.
There will be silence. There will be awkwardness.
The realities will be harsh. The truth will be difficult. The confession will be humbling.
In the end, all the above will be unavoidable.
It will render you speechless.
Keep in mind, this was a relatively short conversation. Dinner was 2 hrs and we talked about other things before this unfolded. And while I started the dialogue, I didn’t plan on any of it.
Let me be clear. He wasn’t offended. In fact, he thanked me for asking the question.
I, however, apologized for the heaviness. And promised the next time we got together, it would be more light-hearted.
He got in his vehicle, still processing what I had said, I’m sure.
I got in mine and sat for a few moments. I could sense the tears welling up from within.
I sensed that something had hit hard in his spirit.
There is but one root of the problem. Yet many will find an auxiliary root, perhaps even a significant one and think “that’s it”, but they will be mistaken. The issues are complex and far-reaching. It will not happen over night. Nor will it happen until one realization is recognized across all people groups.
Every. Single. Life. Is. Broken.
The healing will take an act of God.
Yet, as long as humanity insists on not needing Him; He will not intervene to heal this land.
As badly as it is need… we are so NOT READY for this.
So. Very. Not. Ready.