07 Aug 2014

I’m a white girl from the South African suburbs and I’m “going there”

I’m a white girl who grew up in the affluent and extremely privileged suburbs of Pretoria, South Africa. At the height of Apartheid.

I grew up under US sanctions and ate my first McDonalds burger at the age of 18 only because I was traveling abroad. We didn’t have Levi Jeans, Dunkin’ Donuts, or any of the 80s-inspired American fashion (but that last one might just have been our luck).

But we had high schools that were integrated for the first time when I was in tenth grade. Yes, you heard me right. Our schools were all segregated until the early 90s. Makes you catch your breath, doesn’t it?

I grew up with a black maid and gardener and two white parents who prayed and fought against Apartheid but even now they might tell you that they didn’t pray or fight hard enough.

I never thought Nelson Mandela was a terrorist. I believed he was a hero.

But I never set foot outside my comfort zone either.

Untitled

Untitled

My life was completely average in all the most spoiled ways.

And then my mom died a week to the day after my eighteenth birthday. There are some things you never recover from.

That is one of them for me.

My dad and my brothers – we’ve all lived that loss in different stories.

And my father? A decade after she died he remarried an Afrikaans woman (you’d know this was a big deal if you knew we grew up an English-only-speaking family) and she? Well she rocked our world in all the best ways.

Together they found themselves wading into the deep waters of orphan care in South Africa. And for those of you who haven’t visited sub-saharan Africa recently, that’s a predominately black area. And we are a very white family.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

And my dad will tell you the kinds of looks and comments they get when they’re out at the mall with their three adopted black kids. I can tell you the comments I’ve overheard.

But still, we’re a minority that was in the majority for over a century.

And while I may have black brothers and sisters I rarely have to walk around in their shoes because I live here, in the US. And when I’m home in South Africa we all speak English and Apartheid feels like a history lesson; there’s a rainbow of colors around our dining room table when we sit down for lunch on Sundays in South Africa.

So maybe I’ve felt like I get a pass when it comes to race relations here in the States.

But I have a friend  who tells me that the tables we break bread around here online don’t have a lot of color in them. And it’s 2am and I should be in bed because I have a chipper toddler who will want a bottle of milk come 7. But I can’t quit this computer because some things need being said.

My friend Deidra is “going there” when it comes to these kinds of hard conversations. She’s going there in the most gracious, hands-open, inviting way I’ve seen. She’s going there and bringing us with her because this is what a body does. It asks the other parts if they hurt and then why and then, “what can we do?”

And then it listens.

And then it acts.

I believe she’s “going there” because she’s called there. I think maybe we all are, yes?

Called to meet each other in the “wide open spaces” of God’s grace where sisters can talk about just about anything because there is freedom in Christ.

“We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.”
Romans 5: 2.

And I’m just a white girl from South Africa who has a lot to learn.

But this I do know.

I’m going with her.

Screen-Shot-2014-04-17-at-11.29.04-AM

And I don’t know exactly what that looks like. But I do know what happened last year when a couple in our church shared to our small group that they were feeling desperate and frayed and financially stressed because their delivery business relied on having a car and their only car was broken down. And while it was in the shop they couldn’t carry out their deliveries.

And I remember clearly how the instant reaction from the group was to pray for them. And prayer is necessary. But sometimes what you really need is a loaner car. So while people moved forward to pray Janna’s eyes welled up with defeat and Peter told me afterwards that’s when he knew that prayer in action looked like loaning them our second car. So he did.

And in that moment we became a body instead of just a support group.

So what I’m saying is, I don’t know the exact conversation God wants us all to have – you and me and this blog and the online spaces – but I do know that I want to go there together.

I want to talk about the things that ache in other parts of this body that Christ died for. I want to listen well. And I want to invite your questions and I want to learn.

Deidra’s series over here is a good place to start. And I’d love to learn from you in my comments.

And I especially want to go to the parts of the conversation that might make me or you feel uncomfortable – like do our online gatherings and offline events really reflect the whole body of Christ?

Like am I willing to let my life be interrupted regularly by life that looks different from mine? (I’m thinking of Jen Hatmaker’s book, Interrupted, that I am reading slowly, with highlighter in hand).

Like am I participating in justice for the orphans in South Africa as well as the kids in the foster care system here in my community?

Like, what does being cross-cultural look like beyond just the fact that I’m from another country originally? How can I live a cross-cultural life in my suburban, American neighborhood?

I love what Lori Harris and Shannan Martin are writing about those questions.

And after asking I want to get about doing.

I’d love to eavesdrop in the comments on the places you think of in your own life when you think of “going there.” Just click here to leave a comment.

And really what I most want is to go there together – in a shared car.

Comments

{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    Ummmm… so I’m sitting here with an arrow in my heart. I’ve started this comment a dozen times, too afraid to put to words that I’m ashamed I haven’t “gone there” enough – that I’ve forgotten that the Body of Christ lives right in my own neck of the woods.

    I live in an area of town that is known for its drugs, its gangs – just a block away is public housing and until this past year you could turn the corner from THAT street onto my street and feel like you were in a different neighbourhood. And then it all moved in next door – and I’m having a hard time stepping out the back door and meeting my neighbour in the eye because I’m watching deals happen under the streetlight across the street and my “mad” has seemed to chew up all of my grace… and how do you love when you’re afraid and angry?

    These words that you’ve put here and they others you’ve directed me to… they pull at me in all of the uncomfortable ways… Sometimes its easier to help when the hurt is a half a world away, when, with the click of a mouse, you can donate but not participate. But when the help is needed out your own back door we stop and cringe and think of every other reason why we shouldn’t… I don’t know the answers to these questions… but I do know that God is using them change my heart… hitting my knees today in the hard kneeling prayers and asking God to show me how to “go there.”

    • 2
      Emily C. says:

      Thanks for your honesty Tonya! It takes bravery and humility to admit our shortcomings and fears and open ourselves to the critique and criticism and grace and love of others.

    • 3

      “and how do you love when you’re afraid and angry? ” – yes – good, hard, legitimate questions here. I’m listening to Lori and Shannan and my parents trying to feel my way along the fringes of the answers. Sometimes just asking the questions is a beginning to that, though, isn’t it?

    • 4
      Created Well says:

      The Lord took me through a 4 year process of seeing addicts the way He does – even when He does see them that way. I felt like it was my mission field – I was plopped in the middle of another culture, another language, another thought process, another lifestyle. It is uncomfortable but the growth that the Lord does in you so that you can be effective in helping aid that part of the body…it’s immense. The people who have not yet professed that will find Christ in you and want Him for themselves, amazing to join God in that work. Keep praying, sister.

  2. 5

    I don’t know how to respond to this. I never gave it much thought, which, I know, is your point. I would think that this is a great venue for all people because we are basically invisible. We only get to know each other through our words without any preconceived notions. I wish their were a cure for ignorance and racism but I am afraid we will always suffer people who consider themselves superior to others based only on their origin of birth or color of their skin. My husband’s family still refuses to accept our daughter, Tingting, because she is Chinese. It is very sad.

  3. 6

    I’m with you, Lisa-Jo, (and Deidra) I’m going there too, God is TAKING me there. can I admit that I am scared? I’m trusting Jesus all the way, but my knees are knocking….I am so glad I am not going there alone….Lori, Shannan, Deidra, and so many other brave women have helped me along the way. I am so grateful for how God equips us and moves us out of our comfort zone. LOVE you.

  4. 7

    Oh my stars- yes this-And in that moment we became a body instead of just a support group. I’ve gone there and it was the scariest most beautiful times in my life. I hate to say it but the only way the world sees our love is by doing. Christ he didn’t just say he was the way– he became the way. Love is alway a verb. Love you Lisa-Jo and thank you for going there.

  5. 8

    I love going there with you and Deidra and Shannon and all the other women walking out their front doors and into the front door of their neighbor.
    May Jesus open our eyes wide and our hearts wider still.
    Love your brave heart, friend. You inspire me.

  6. 9
    Ro elliott says:

    I have been reading Deidra’s series from the beginning… I love the grace in which she challenges the world around us… I grow up with racial tension was much higher… we had race riots in high school… I have seen much healing… but I know there is so much more freedom to be found walking together in bonds of love. thanks Lisa-jo for going there too…

  7. 10

    Dear Lisa, I’m a blogger who thought I was on my way to write a book but have stalled out, and I’ve asked a lot of, “Lord, where are you taking me?” Then I landed a Spanish teaching job and that didn’t seem like writing a book. But a few weeks ago, in studying Spanish, I crossed paths with a Spanish blogger who is a missionary in the heart of a Venezuelan jungle. She is translating one of my Bible studies from my website into Spanish. And maybe “the book” isn’t the thing after all -just sharing the gospel and the goodness of God to my Hispanic sisters in Christ. It’s starting to sound like the kingdom of God taking over where my ambitions left off.

  8. 12

    Oh girl, this has me covered in goose bumps.
    I feel a rising up coming…and so thrilled and humbled to be a tiny part of it with you and others.

    Also, this: “And prayer is necessary. But sometimes what you really need is a loaner car.” BOOM.

  9. 13

    YES, Yes, a thousand times yes!! THANK YOU for going there! I can’t even tell you how much joy it bring my heart to hear Christians, especially white, privileged Christians, talk about race, racism, and privilege.
    White, southern, suburban girl right here. I was completely unaware of the idea of privilege until grad school. Sad, but so true. Because we don’t talk about it!! We’d rather believe that it’s no longer an issue. And most if can sit in our bubbles and do just that. And that’s privilege. BUT when we open that door (so scary and so great!) and ask those questions, and listen, truly listen to our brothers and sisters of color, we’ll find the issues of race, racism, and privilege are far from over.
    I used to write a blog on this topic. But I’m not a very consistent writer. Then God gave us the privilege of moving to the heart of Brooklyn to a predominantly West Indian/Caribbean and Hasdidic Jewish community. And has allowed us to part of planting a multicultural multiethnic church in our community. Now I get to talk about these issues ALL THE TIME. And I love it!
    Like Tonya was saying, issues become very real when they move from the theoretical to the next door. I think until they move next door or across the table, we can live without challenging our prejudices and racist thoughts. And let’s be REAL honest, we all have them. It’s easier to keep them at a distance and pretend we believe we’re all equal. But it’s BETTER to sit in the discomfort and challenge of facing our sins, admitting to our fears and questions and misbeliefs about others not like us and then to let Christ heal us and move us together into a kingdom that more reflects what will be! What WILL be. So maybe should start practicing now.
    All that to say, I’m super excited about this. My only challenge is to not stop too soon or too short of really pushing us, your readers into these issues. Reconciliation only comes through brutal honesty, humility, lavish grace, and forgiveness. And more listening than talking.

  10. 14

    Thank you for “going there,” Lisa-Jo. There’s an aspect to this discussion God has been speaking to me about and I’m not sure how to write about it yet or even if He wants me to. But, I’m listening. To all these words. Thank you for introducing Deidra’s words to me. xoxo, Meredith

  11. 15

    Linking arms to run with patient enurance to do what it takes to close our gaps. Holy Spirit have your way as you make a way for us to be the church to all. Our God who has no needs activates ALL our words said in responding to Him by his grace.

  12. 16

    thank you
    prayer + a loaner car YES
    i am a mentor in our local elementary school, building up trust & a friendship with my girl’s family
    if we don’t have them over for dinner, who will?
    and the boy & little brother who are brought to church by great-aunt – i see them walking around town with”bad influences” and i feel angry and scared because the older brother threatened to kill me and that is why i lost my teaching job and YET if folks won’t reach out to them outside of church and love them and influence them, they have no choice but to continue on the only path they know; and i know it shouldn’t be US vs THEM arrrrgggghhhh!

  13. 17
    Sheree G. says:

    I have this unrest in my soul, this God-whisper that keeps breathing in my ear, “This is not it. There is more. Be ready for change and move and BIG.” And I find myself scared. By the whispers from the dark telling me I am not worthy. That I am too rough and worn around the edges and my edges, they are sharp and they harm rather than help. You see, I was the blessee for many years as a single momma who struggled through finishing college in my forties with no financial help from their father who walked away. Cried when the electric was cut off when we arrived home at night, begged the “church” for help and all they could do was ask how we would prevent this situation from happening again and creating more need for ourselves. I know what the blessed do to the needy. And it makes me sick! The dream in my heart, the one that is too big for me to even dream at times, is simply to offer a vacation to her and her babes for a few days out of her very hard year. God has lifted me up. Their father still offers no help but God has allowed me a way to take care of us and even allow us to take a vacation every year. A respite, rest, fun, time to connect to these children of mine that will fly from the nest sooner than this momma would like. I want to provide a place for them to stay, food for the week, and gas money to get to and from the destination. I promise you that is a huge blessing to a tired momma. That is what yiu wohld hear if you eavesdropped in my heart.

  14. 18

    Thank you for “going there”. Our family has journeyed into Fostering. Here. In our Community. For the next generation. Because we felt God calling us to go there. It is inconvenient. It is confusing. It is hard. It is a giant of a mess. God is Bigger! We will be brave. I discovered your blog and this online network of writers after jumping into this ocean of daily rewards that are mixed with weird blessings and sharp tooth monsters. I cling to many daily life preservers of encouragment that I find here. Please keep writing, keep inspiring, keep us moving. Go there. Go beyond there.

  15. 19

    Oh Lisa-Jo, this is so my hearts desire. Thank you so much. I just don’t know that we will all be able to really truly love one another when we do not know much about each other’s lives. When you worship beside one another, or eat dinner across from each other, when our children splash in the pool together, when we break bread and join hands, that is when you hear the stories, that is when walls come down. And I want it not just racially but socioeconomically too. I know it starts first with me, with getting out of these comfortable spaces. Thankful to you and Deidra. <3

  16. 20
  17. 21

    I grew up in small-town Georgia in the 60’s and 70’s, and I remember how prejudice was a way of life among most everyone I knew. My daddy told me stories about being present for lynchings when he was three. Sadly, his witnessing something so gruesome did not lift him out of the racial superiority he continued to live for most of his life. I was raised in a home where black people simply were not honored. They were viewed, even by otherwise good people, as “beneath us”. We lived in an area of town fairly far-removed from “N***** Quarters”.

    I think the prejudice gene missed me somehow. I was bullied by dark-skinned girls, but it never occurred to me that they might be after me because I was white. I just thought they didn’t like me. I had friends at school who had dark skin, but I was afraid to tell Daddy about them. My friend James could only push me on the swings if we were sure my daddy couldn’t see us from our kitchen window next door to the school. Secretly I didn’t understand why we couldn’t all just live where we wanted to in our town and be friends with everybody, but once when I rooted for a black boxer on TV my daddy called me a N***** lover for a week. It hurt, and I wasn’t even old enough to articulate–or even fully comprehend–why.

    I moved from that town to live with my mother the summer after sixth grade. We landed in Florida where race separation wasn’t so prominent. It felt much more like home to me. My daddy died about a year later, but I am glad to say he had begun to see skin color differently in his last few years. I grew up to marry “one of them there I-talians”, and I’d like to think Daddy would have embraced my beloved had he still been alive. When I think of it, I recognize that I have friends of multiple races. And I have to consciously think about it, because I’m still missing that race-focus gene that highlights skin color to mean anything other than pigmentation.

    And deep down I know it means more than simple color, because we’ve all been treated one way or another–for good or ill–based on that designation. I consider us all one race, and while that probably makes me sound idealistic, I guess I am okay with being labeled as one with ideals that transcend societal norms. Because I just plain love people. Always have. Being color-blind isn’t so bad when it means love extends to all, not in spite of our differences but because those differences become beautiful when we realize that together we’re all just glimmering facets dancing off the same diamond.

  18. 22

    I loved this post and am keen to see what comes of it. My husband is mixed race and often I think about how even our circle of friends is too pale. Thanks for starting the discussion I look forward to following it.

  19. 23

    I don’t honestly know if this is a path I am to be on…BUT me questioning and not sitting and listening for the answers from God are why I am commenting and Lisa Jo you are a constant inspiration to me so “I’m in”……..I think…..:0)

  20. 24
    Created Well says:

    This is amazing. I am looking to start my own blog in the near future and I ran into this very problem as I’ve been looking for a community of writers: “…the tables we break bread around here online don’t have a lot of color in them.” Inspiration is inspiration is inspiration, don’t get me wrong. But I’m having to dig for black, Latina, and Asian influences in this same realm. I’ve found a few men too. And my interest is broad! BUT what I’m finding is there aren’t as many writers who are writing as often from other races, tax brackets, and backgrounds. Our body is like Joseph’s coat – there are so many colors but they AREN’T represented well in this realm. I don’t know how to open it up more. Do we hunt out writers with different life perspectives and have them guest blog? I don’t know but as I have gone through and found women I enjoy and the women they enjoy, things look and feel the same. And the reality is others’ have a reality that isn’t quite the same and it’s just a important to hear them out too.

    Sometimes I feel like I’m looking in from the outside – I’m not a mother, I’m not middle class, I’m not married, I’m not white, I don’t even have the time to read all the blogs I want to and I end up backlogging them. I write when I can, not when I want to. Sometimes I look at the writers I love and feel like I have someplace to get to instead of just being. How DO we change that? across the board?

  21. 25

    Oh, Lisa -Jo, I am so right there with you on wanting to be interrupted (I’m reading it too, right now). Every day, the desire to have everything comfortable ripped to shreds around me grows greater as Jesus works on my heart. I cried this week when I realized that because we were done living on one Midwest salary in the DC area I could actually give away some more money. In one day, I signed up to give away a chunk of our newly expanded income to a variety of works that have been heavy on my heart for months and months – and it felt better than any shopping spree. I was so GLAD. There was just big, warm, teary JOY here. We finally have a new church, one with dual local and global focus on caring for the poor and hurting, and I am so glad to be part of such a place, so excited for the ways I feel God starting to move me away from consumerism and the American Dream and towards Jesus-ism and His Dream, the Kingdom Dream, instead. So – cheering you on, here, and would love, love, love, to come alongside in any way. xoxoxo

  22. 26
    Juan Henrquez Cottet says:

    Hello Lisa great article.

    Best,

    Juan

  23. 27

    I look forward to reading Deidra’s posts, but just wanted to thank you first for sharing this, Lisa-Jo! Sometimes I struggle with understanding why this isn’t obvious in the body of Christ? Like why do we even have to think about the fact that we need to love ALL people? And then I realize that I too was blessed to grow up in a family where the color of the skin and the cultural background was only and always something to be celebrated and explored and sought out. I was just reading Acts 2 to my kids this morning and I read it with a new excitement- that when the Holy Spirit came on them, they spoke in all of the different tongues that were present in Jerusalem at that time. I love that God intimately cares about his people. And we are to follow that example.
    “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 Amen?!!!
    Oh, and my family has been the recipient of a loaner car (from our mutual friend, Bria Wasson!) and that is absolutely the best way to show Christ’s love. We are to seek out ways that WE can be the answer to prayers! Love you, Lisa-Jo!!!!!

  24. 28
    Jeannette says:

    Hi Lisa-Jo, I love this post so much, I can’t even tell you how much. “I’m going there” on a couple of different subjects but I would rather not say because I get a lot of flak for it and today I am not strong enough for it. But your post is really encouraging and I am so happy that you are brave enough to be open about what you feel and how you are doing things in your community here and at home.

  25. 29

    Did you and Jen Lee plan this, to have the same post today?? This is a great post, Lisa-Jo, and one I resonate with, but from the white, suburban American experience rather than the South African one. Though I visited SA in the late 60s, and was there when Verwoerd (sp?) was assassinated and was stung by the signs on the beaches and the attitude of the white woman who managed the missionary guest house where we stayed our first week on African soil. Still. . . today, I live in one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the entire country and see mostly white faces around me. There is some racial mixing in our congregation, but the percentage is tiny. I want to go there, too. But in truth, I’m not sure I know how. So I’ll be reading and praying and wondering and watching. Deidra is just the best – and so are you.

  26. 30
    Jessica Carr says:

    I found this to be an interesting post. I’m sure as you read my name you might have pictured me as a white Caucasian girl. I’m not. I’m Korean by descent, American by adoption. :) My dad was in the military for 27 years. My mom and Dad and four brothers are all white Caucasians. Part of my childhood was spent in Hawaii, which is part of the United States of America, but in some ways, it might as well be a foreign land, as there are many Asians who live over there. Growing up there, I never really thought about the issue of “color.” I always knew I was adopted, but I knew I wa loved y my Mom and Dad. Growing up in a multicultural state, I never experienced ignorance or racism or prejudice. Maybe it’s because I looked like a lot of others who lived there….when I moved to the mainland United States, it was culture shock for me…totally..it’s not that I encountered prejudice, persay, but people didn’t seem as friendly and open and welcoming as they’d been in Hawaii..people seemed to stick to “their own kind,” and even some comments made in the church, weren’t appearing to be racist or prejudiced, yet still seemed ignorant. I think as Christians these days, it’s easy for us to forget that the Gospel of Christ is for everyone- regardless of color, regardless of race, regardless of background, and we become comfortable. Not only that, we’re held back by cultural prejudices, and ways of thinking that have been passed down to us by even seeming harmless, but ignorant comments our ancestors have made, and fears that are passed from generation to generation. I would that all Christians had had the kind of childhood and exposure to different cultures as I have, but not all have had the privilege or the responsibility of such a heritage. I have noticed as a Korean girl, surrounded by whites all the time, even when I’ve visited other churches, it’s rare for me to see any people of color, whether they be African-American, Asian, or even Hispanic. Our churches, local bodies of Christ, should reflect God’s love for the nations…even as Christians we lose sight of the Great Commission- that was taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth, not just keeping it “safe” within our white, suburban communities. My home church is great, because we support missionaries all over the world, and there’s other Asians there besides me…thank you, Lisa-Jo and to your friend Diedra for speaking up about this sometimes painful topic. Jesus Loves All of us, and He saw each of us as the same-sinners in need of Him. Please keep talking about this, as other members of our local bodies of Christ need to be reminded.

  27. 31

    This is so encouraging for me to read because sometimes I feel like I am just going through the motions in my Christian walk. I feel that God is doing something in me, in us, in the church, in the body, but I’m not sure exactly what. I think it is time that we begin to get out of our comfort zones and really live the Christian life the Bible intended. I’m not sure what that looks like for me, but I love the direction of this conversation. Thank you!

  28. 32

    Yes. Just yes. Everything about this, yes.

    Thanks for such beautiful and honest writing.

  29. 33

    i love that you are “going there”! it reminds me of this ridiculous “first world problems” thing going around. i just want to shout “YOU DON’T HAVE ANY PROBLEMS, MIDDLE AMERICA!!”

    i’m literally thanking God you said all this…sometimes we need action and prayer is superficial. thank you Lord for the man who loaned his car!!

  30. 34

    Thank you for sharing and for your challenge. We have to remember that Jesus didn’t walk in a “Christian, Caucasian” bubble and neither should we. There are so many hurting in our communities and around the world that we shouldn’t have to turn over very many rocks to find someone to “love on”. I do agree that prayer is key, but action speaks louder than words. Having traveled in many other countries of the world, I firmly believe that you can’t speak God’s love when the person you are speaking to is dying of starvation or has no clean water to drink. We must look at the salvation of the whole person. In the 1970’s and 80’s there was a new and emerging Christian artist on the music scene. There is a line from one of his songs that says, “God can’t cash out of state checks in Heaven…He needs you!”. That is so true. We need to do more than just write checks. We need to be the heart, the hands, the arms and the legs of God’s love in a very real and intimate way. Here at home…and around the world. That singer was Keith Greene who unfortunately died early in his career. I wonder what he would say to use now 20 years later??

  31. 35

    Lisa, what an important subject, and beautifully written! Thank you for raising your voice! I really want to Go There! I just don’t know where to start! It’s fascinating how much power “I don’t know where to start” or “I don’t know what to do” have. It can keep us from doing anything for a long time, and I don’t want it to be like that. I want to do something about it.

    Since I don’t know where to start, I will start with prayer, because that is never wrong -that’s my opinion. And by prayer I also mean seek God, because then God can lead me, and perhaps help me realize what I can do. Personally I don’t believe praying is to stand on the sidelines. I believe that prayer is an army fighting in the world invisible before my bare eye, the spiritual world. The world that is there, the world I can feel at times, but not see. But, I believe it is standing on the sidelines if it is used like an excuse for not doing anything else. And I don’t necessarily believe that if I don’t feel God is answering me, then there is nothing I am meant to do. Someone told me that it easier to steer a car that has speed, than steering a car that’s not even started. I believe it is like that with us humans too. It easier for God to guide us if we go do something, that if we just sit down, continue sitting and waiting for a sign. But I think there is a matter of balance to those.

    I also agree with what is written in comments before mine, many times changes starts in processes, takes time, and happens in little steps, one by one.

    I don’t have many around me with an other color than white. There is a woman that is wed in our family, and she is beautiful! I’ve always thought people with other colors are interesting and beautiful! But, this woman in our family, I just don’t know what to say to her. My words just don’t come out when I try to start a conversation with her. She sits a lot on the computer, and is quite a lot in the garden when we’re visiting, but somehow, my daughter has managed to connect with her, while I’ve just said a few sentences with her. I’m wondering why. I don’t really think it is because of her color, either, perhaps more that she don’t speak my language, and I don’t speak hers. I think it makes me insecure about myself, but then again, what is that for a lame excuse? We’re not called to do just easy, sometimes we’re called to do uncomfortable, and embarrassing, and out of our comfort-zone.

    But I’m willing. I want to. I’m in.
    God bless you!
    -Ava Sophie

  32. 36

    Thanks for “going there” Lisa-Jo, Jennifer and Deidra! An important conversation to be continued…As far as writers/bloggers go, I write poetry and have found writing communities that are diverse, including writers of different races, gender, religion, and geographic location. It is stretching me! But it’s not always comfortable or even “nice” reading like the inspiring “safe” Christian (mostly white?) women’s blogger communities. It’s a challenge to be “in the world but not of it” but we can’t do that just talking (writing) to ourselves, can we? Love the idea that we’re all the same race…the human race! But I know I need humility to recognize my own prejudices and fears.

  33. 37

    This site was… how do you say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I have found something that helped me. Thanks.

  34. 38

    If you’ve never played it before, or have a craving for some serious PC gaming nostalgia, I
    highly recommend downloading it and giving it a shot on your computer.
    This means if you have any settings you want to change within the program itself you can make them now
    so that whenever you open the portable program your preferences will be
    saved. ‘ USB flash devices commonly hold upwards of 4GB, a vast increase in portable disk capacity.

  35. 39

    Sometimes we do just have to “go there”. I have been dating a wonderful Polynesian man (I am Caucasian), and it has made me realize the great beauty that diversity brings. It has also made me see some aspects of racism that I have never seen before–growing up in a fairly white community. One of the best books I read about this is John Piper’s book “Bloodlines”. An excellent, and in-depth look at a lot of issues surrounding race. Would definitely recommend it!

  36. 40

    spending weekends with your family. Gods moments of protection over me in times of hell. your parents showing me what true family life should be. that makes me homesick….

Trackbacks

  1. […] Related: I’m a white girl from South Africa and I’m Going There by Lisa-Jo Baker.  […]

  2. […] and throwing wide their fears and slips of the heart and extending the conversation.  Others like Lisa-Jo, a white girl from South Africa, and Jennifer, a white girl from rural Iowa, and Alia, an Asian […]

  3. […] Alia and Deidra and Lisa-Jo and Jennifer write about diversity and race with such elegance and grace, I don’t even know […]

  4. […] we call diversity.   First inspired by Deidra Rigg’s blog and then Lisa Jo Baker’s blog, #going there is a conversation about race that is gracious and open. […]

Hide me
Free eBook for Blog Subscribers!
Email:
Just enter your email & you'll receive a welcome email with a link to download the eBook. Easy Peasy!
Show me