Last week I took a big risk. I made a commitment to funding revolutionary change in America today, and I challenged you to do the same. If you haven’t read my post from last week, I encourage you to do so now. If you’ve read it, but haven’t taken any action, I encourage you to consider your next steps.
In this week’s post, I want to share some of the additional steps that I am taking on what I expect will be a very long journey. Changing social systems doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, you could say that nothing revolutionary that Jesus worked for really changed during his lifetime—but he did raise a lot of awareness, and many things have changed in the centuries since, because of what he started. He had a lot of committed followers who have, over many years and decades, transformed the world.
So, I am committed to doing my part in working for change in this country. In addition to funding the revolution, here is what I have pledged to undertake in the weeks ahead.
First, I am committed to learning more. This pledge involves reading or hearing one new thing each day. It might be an article, or the chapter from a book, or a video that someone has shared with me. It might be having a conversation with someone who is also wrestling with these issues—or with someone who is not.
Second, I am committed to discussing these issues in community. My church has begun having weekly virtual meetings to examine issues of racism and inequity, in this country and in our local community. We now have a web page with resources suggested by many members of the group. People are sharing their experiences, their frustrations, their triumphs, and their hopes and dreams for change. We must do this together—in, and as, community. I like the way Tom Adams put the need for community in a recent post: “God and I are both cheated if it is just the two of us.”
Third, I am committed to taking leadership in a way that does not take leadership from people of color. This means leadership amongst my white sisters and brothers, and it has taken the specific form of agreeing to be a co-facilitator for a study and action group at my church that is focused on responding to racism. Those of us with privilege must do more than learn; we must share, and we must act.
Fourth, I am committed to embracing whatever opportunities God provides along the journey. For example, I have just written and submitted a homily to the next edition of Homilists for the Homeless, and I embraced the opportunity to talk about civil unrest and protesting inequality.
When we start out on a journey, we don’t know for certain where it will lead, and what opportunities will arise along the way. It can be frightening to say a blanket “yes” to God, but I am trusting that God will not provide any opportunities and challenges that I am unable, with the Spirit’s help, to embrace.
What additional steps are you called to take in this crucial time of civil unrest and potential change? What commitments can you make for the long journey ahead?