It Takes Two to Reconcile

lightstock_66815_small_byrene_haney

“Reconciliation means working together to correct

the legacy of past injustice.”

Nelson Mandela

 This past week two high profile players have joined the chorus of voices shouting for people to notice that black lives matter. Those two individuals were Beyonce’ and Colin Kaepernick, Quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers. I am not going to judge the worth of their actions nor their intentions. What I am questioning is the effectiveness of these protest. If the point of the public protest was just to bring awareness, Ok. But I think by now we are all aware. If the aim was to honor those how have died, I get that. If the goal is to make things better, both of those acts so far seem to have created an opposite effect. A greater divide has occurred. Nelson Mandela has correct. If our goal is reconciliation, both sides of the divide have to come together. And decide to work together to find solutions together and move past the injustices of the past together.

Below are some steps in this process to begin the reconciliation process. I am approaching this with the idea that truly only God can heal this problem; it is, of course, beyond human problem-solving abilities.

1) Admit we each are part of the problem.

As a teen one of my favorite after-school television shows was “Happy Days.” I wanted to be the Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli. That was one cool dude. Part his coolness was he was never wrong. One the rare occasion when he had to admit fault, he stumbled over the words. He could never seem to get the entire sentence, “I was wrong” out. It came out more like, “I was wrrooon.” In this race relations issues, its seems that no one wants to come out and admit any culpability. Neither side wants to budge. Neither side wants to admit they each bear some level of responsibility. The rhetoric and divisive attitudes that continue to make matters more toxic and volatile. Until both sides are willing to admit they are part of the problem no real healing is possible.

This quote says it so clearly. “You have a choice. You can either focus on what’s tearing us apart or what’s holding us together.” My issues with the talk so far are that the focus is on all the things that are ripping us apart. There little to no attention paid to those universal values we all share.

2) We need to come to a truce.

At some point for this issue of race to improve we have to call for an end to the fighting. We have to stop seeing the other side as the evil villain that we are bent on defeating. The only way that happens is realizing that what is keeping us apart is sin. Sin is causing the bitterness and hatred. The effects of sin are growing and breeding between blacks and whites. The only thing that can defeat sin is God’s love. Gwen Smith said so beautifully. “When we allow God’s love to trump our anger, we can experience restoration in relationships.”

This nation desperately needs God’s hand of restoration. I fear more and more each day where this situation is heading. It is time to call for a laying down of hateful speech. A laying down of the call for retribution. We need to come together and ask for God to turn the guns into plowshares. Only God can turn weeping and mourning into rejoicing and dancing.

3) We need to be willing to fight for the relationship.

Relationships can feel like climbing Mount Everest, especially the difficult ones. Relationships can feel like the mountain where you can never seem to reach the summit. That usually means the systems you’re using aren’t working.

It’s okay to fall. It’s okay to make mistakes and even be dead wrong. You will get mad. Relationships will cause you frustration. Heck, we are human, and as humans, we struggle with maintaining healthy relationships. But does that mean that we should never be in a relationship? Or does it say we keep fighting for relationships because we would die without them? The racial divide needs the chance to heal. It’s not an option. Here is what is happening in my City of Chicago. From Monday’s Chicago Tribune:

“Chicago has recorded 487 homicides and more than 2,800 people shot so far this year, compared to 491 homicides and 2,988 people shot all of last year, according to Tribune data.

Chicago has a lower homicide rate than many other U.S. cities that are smaller in population.

But this year, the city has recorded more homicides and shooting victims than New York City and Los Angeles combined, even though the two cities are larger than Chicago’s population of roughly 2.6 million.”

It’s painful, it’s exhausting, and it’s humbling, but we have to work together to solve this. It is too important not too.

Other posts worth reading in this series:

https://revheadpin.org/2016/08/23/how-to-make-sure-all-lives-matter/
https://revheadpin.org/2016/08/16/do-you-want-to-walk-in-my-shoes/
https://revheadpin.org/2016/07/19/fearfully-made
https://revheadpin.org/2016/08/09/sorry-you-just-not-black-enough
https://revheadpin.org/2016/08/02/its-time-church-to-stand-and-speak-out
https://revheadpin.org/2016/07/26/its-time-to-heal-the-racial-divide
https://revheadpin.org/2016/07/12/how-guilt-feeds-racial-divison/
https://revheadpin.org/2016/06/07/diversity-in-the-church/
https://revheadpin.org/2016/07/05/dealing-with-race-in-america/
https://revheadpin.org/2016/06/21/how-to-see-beyond-color/

The Article that this quoted was taken.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-august-most-violent-shootings-chicago-20160829-story.html

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53 thoughts on “It Takes Two to Reconcile

  1. I am completely amazed this whole “issue’ has surfaced again. We dealt with in our Nation many times and I thought having lived through the 60’s it was done. Satan pulling out his ” old card’ of division. And not only that, generally speaking, these are brothers and sisters raised in Christ. Stepping back to see with Kingdom vision. Just another attack on out Nation, our bond as people and our children future. Excellent post Keith! Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree, especially about focusing on what we have in common rather than what separates us. It’s seeming like it is becoming an “us” vs “them” but I’m not in either of those groups. I agree that the problems are real and uncalled for and would like to see a resolution, so I’m not a “them” but I’m also not black, so I’m not an “us”.

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  3. Being a disabled vet, I waited in the car for my wife at WalMart while she shopped. I was pleased as I watched two young black people help an elderly white woman, who was about to fall, reach an electric shopping cart. They were so kind and gentle toward her as one held her up while the other got the cart. Without their help she would have surely fallen. Our nature is to help and love one another when in need regardless of skin color. I believe true reconciliation could happen if those who don’t want it to happen would stand aside. That racial division caused by the last two centuries “has” begun to heal. Some don’t want to admit it, some refuse to see it, others don’t want it to happen. I believe we have begun a healing, but like a cancer it takes time for healing to complete. As Christian’s we are Gods fragrance and facilitators to healing. We must not give up in continuing to spread the Gospel. As you have said, God is our healer. Blessings Keith!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “We need to be willing to fight for the relationship.” Keith, you are so right. And right again when you say Satan is the true enemy. We must be willing to reach out, establish relationships and find common ground, one person at a time. And we must reach out to the media and require them to do the same.

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  5. Howdy Keith!

    I really appreciate your use of working together to solve a meaningful problem. This is the prescription offered by social psychology, specifically in Realistic Conflict Theory and Social Identity Theory. It isn’t simply contact, it is meaningful interaction so that both groups are needed to resolve a problem that is important to both sides.

    Good article man. I’m looking forward to reading the other articles on race and racism in America.

    Huzzah!
    Jack

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  6. What a wonderful message this is, Keith, such wise words about such a contentious issue. I do think that the more we polarise, the more polarised we will become. Healing needs something else if it is to happen.

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  7. I totally agree that it would be more helpful to have discussions about what we have in common, values we share, than what makes us different. At the end of the day, we’d be surprised at how the same we really are!

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  8. You are absolutely right, there is a lot of work to be done especially with the Black Lives Matter movement. Until both sides are willing to come together, they will keep fighting.

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  9. As an American I am devastated to what our country has come too in the last few years. I know racism still exists but in order for us to change those that have been effected by it we need to come together. There shouldn’t be an us or them. We are all Americans.

    Currently I am living in Europe and its even worse to see it from their perspective. Most of the time the news here only partially report the truth and it makes it sound positively horrible like we are on the brink of another civil war.

    I pray that we can come together as a nation so that we can provide a better future for our children and their children.

    BTW I am sharing this post!

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  10. Relationships fail because people just simply give-up. When you’re willing to fight for each other and fix things, you’ll eventually come to an agreement and create a plan on how you’re going to repair what you lost.

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  11. I agree “We need to be willing to fight for the relationship.” accept each other as we are, accepting the right and wrong in the same way as none of us is perfect. The news from Chicago Tribune is disheartening.

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  12. This is very important topic. There’s only one way to create a better future: working together. All differences are beautiful. Sometimes it’s all about respect. It’s okay to have different points of view, ideas, believes, bodies…etc. It’s okay. I always say that if we can accept ourselves (‘in the mirror’) we have no problem to accept others. We like ourselves – we don’t have any problem to like others. All because we are different… and it’s beautiful.

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  13. Brilliant write-up! Black Lives Matter has been described as “not your grandfather’s civil-rights movement,” to distinguish its tactics and its philosophy from those of nineteen-sixties-style activism. We all need to unite together for the betterment of every human being!

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  14. I feel like such a big problem is that people often don’t really get to know people who are different than them. I think people just need to lay aside their pride and their agenda, and hang out together. Leave your judgements at home and just get to know people who are different than you are. Then it’s so much harder to make assumptions about a people group when you personally know people from it. At least that’s how it’s worked for me and why I love meeting people from different backgrounds.

    Nina
    aworldofdresses.com

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  15. a very important post, yet after this election I am not sure that people are willing to reach out a hand. My daughter’s boyfriend, a Mexican-American was already harassed and called names at his job. The Trump win only opened the door for more racism to grow. I am so sorry, we did not do enough to reach a more peaceful area. Stay safe. Blessings!

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  16. I guess this is something I that people avoid talking about and it’s wrong. It all comes at the end how we are raised and how we live. Some people have never experienced anything cruel so they don’t get it. But, they should at least try to understand. We need to make this place a better one.

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  17. Such epic insight and wisdom shared! arigato. I agree with all the points & your argument is very fluid to comprehend. was worthwhile reading this and yes, it takes two to tango. If one party isn’t as committed then its a slippery slope to nowhere.

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