Understanding brings Healing... but not overnight!
It's impossible to heal a disease you don't understand. Take cancer for example. The history of cancer treatment has slowly advanced as thousands and thousands of hours of careful research have been poured into understanding the causes and possible cures. Racism is a stubborn cancer on the soul of our nation. Many feel it's absolutely incurable. Many see some signs of hope, places where healing has happened. Still others pretend it doesn't even exist. "I don't feel the pain - so how can I be sick?"
Healing the racial divides that are still with us today will take an enduring effort on everyone's part regardless our socio-economic status. We can't simply preach a sermon on it and walk away. We can't attend a class then feel like we've done our part. We can't pretend it doesn't exist. We can't give up either - refusing any medical attention just because we have cancer. There is hope. There is progress as long as God's people are willing to engage in the healing process. It takes a tenacious willingness to learn, repeated attempts at solutions, reinventing the strategies, realigning the priorities and always being willing to admit mistakes and try again.
Here are a few links to some important resources we're talking about in the class Healing the Racial Divide:
- The Kingdom Color Map of places of historic interest in North Omaha. The map will show you locations of significant events and landmarks each with a pop-up description when you click on it. If you're not familiar with North Omaha, poke around on the map a little, find a couple of places you'd like to see and drive there with a friend.
- The Kingdom Color Podcast is an audio interview of several community leaders describing Omaha's cultural landscape in historic terms.
- The Kingdom Color Feature Video is a report from the Justice Journey several of us staff went on in the spring of 2009. A group of 25 white pastors and a group of 25 black pastors toured three cities in the south looking at significant civil rights locations, deepening our understanding and trust.
Keep building your understanding of what has happened. Keep building key relationships along the way. Keep engaging the context you live in - those of us here in Omaha have a rich field of possibilities on all these fronts.