The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. ~ Helen Keller
It is amazing what more we can see when we finally open our eyes. It has become uncomfortably clear in our current season of racial turmoil that many of the American white race have been blind to their American black neighbor's experience.
The shoe seems to fit. How long will I wear this old worn-out shoe? Being a white middle-aged woman I have not been aware of the extent of my blindness until now. I am grateful for the opportunity to potentially see things more clearly, to possibly have my vision enhanced.
We no longer have the excuse that we just didn't know what our black neighbor, black coworker, black children, bi-racial family member, or friend has been experiencing all along. We need to go no further than our favorite social media platform, podcast, or editorial to hear and learn real and true stories of their personal fear and anxiety, much less their terror and trauma.
Yet, many of those in my own proximity don't see what I see, hear what I hear? They keep demanding that they are not a "racist", not a "bigot", or they keep circling back to the perceived fact that we in America have already dealt with these racial issues and the uproar of dissension is unwarranted. When does anyone decide for another what is warranted or unwarranted for their wellbeing anyway?
Oh, now I remember. This dilemma of dismissal can occur when the normative collective posture is to keep calm and be quiet at all costs, do not rock the boat, and please do not question the powers that be or the attitudes that be. This predicament can also occur when there is a general consensus of not having an understanding or an experience similar to the individuals voicing their pain or trauma. All we have is our own story.
The question at hand is, "Do I want to hear and your story?" Is this what I really want? To take the time to listen and hear another's story indicates that I may want to know them. Knowing someone requires getting personal. Getting personal with someone requires vulnerability. Vulnerability requires risk, the risk that you may reject me. Do I really want to go to all that work?
For the love of our children and grandchildren, I hope so!
Could it be that the old way of doing things and letting bygones be bygones no longer work anymore? Our collective soul is yearning to be transformed, to see things anew, to hear what others have been saying for a long time, and now no longer fall upon deaf ears. Yet, this is impossible without God's mercy.
We are all blind to our own self-preservationism to include racism unless we call on the Master. He may do what he did for Bartimaeus, the blind man in Mark 10: 46-52 that yelled at the top of his lungs begging for mercy. He may ask you and me, "What do you want me to do for you?" We could learn something from that blind man who answered, "I want to see."
Jesus replied, "Go, your faith has healed you". It takes faith and hope to love with eyes wide open.
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