If you've never read "Let the Trumpet Sound: A Life of Martin Luther King Jr." or "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison then now is a great time. One is a biogroaphy and the other, fiction. These books informed me of something I didn't quite understand before reading them, and excuse me for being so obvious but...I will never understand what it means to be African-American.
What I am not saying is that these are somehow replacement texts for the experience of being black in America. No I'm not saying that nor am I suggesting that these books made me understand in a moment something that is impossible for me to grasp. I'm saying these books unlocked something in me. They gave me light to see and an awareness of an ugliness I did not know was there.
There's something bigger going on in the aftermath of Ferguson than a single verdict. We have brothers and sisters who are hurting. This comes from a place some of us cannot comprehend. Be patient with one another. If you cannot bear to endure another minute of this process of restoration and wholeness in our land, remember - it's not about you. It is about us.
It's times like these that we need the imagination of a gifted guide to unlock our perspective to see from the other's vantage point. This is what art does. It shows you life from the mind of another. It requires that you consider for yourself that what you are looking at is valuable because the one who made it took time to finish it.
"There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:28 (NIV)
Contrary to what you may think Jesus didn't erase lines. He connected the dots. He made us whole. In Christ we find diversity - and it is complimentary. Actually, it's irreplaceable. Whether we've realized it or not we are of the same ilk. You and me, we have been given the same name - it is our humanity.
Creation groans inwardly for the revealing of the children of God. It takes no expert to see the frustration. It's within reach yet waits for our embrace. The apostle Paul tells in Romans 8 that there is palpable "hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God."
We must slow down and make room for us.
by Scott Crowder
A photo I took of my own chidren playing near the James River.