Israelite Lives Matter
“I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of My people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their oppressors, and I am aware of their sufferings. Exodus 3:6-7
Moses, I Heard Their Cries
The very first thing God conveys is how he values these specific people, their specific pain, & their unique experiences - That he has seen their oppression & heard their outcry.
The sheer magnitude of the number of stories from people of color expressing their common experience of racism has largely gone unheard. These consistent accounts of micro & macro discrimination rarely make it into the news or research that becomes the stats which are often used to downplay the reality of racism. But God sees & listens - even when others don’t.
The first response that God leads with is not expressing views about the complex issues resulting in that people's pain. Rather, it's all about expressing compassion toward the people experiencing the issues & the pain.
Listening is a powerful first response to a people in trauma. It expresses love, allyship, & conciliation. Space given to hear & acknowledge other's hardship is a profoundly holy thing.
God, like You, help me, prioritize acknowledging the lived experience & pain of other's - Right now, chiefly people of color. Help me not inadvertently ignore or deny their trauma by failing to first compassionately listen.
God, help me hold space for blacks to share their encounters with & responses to racism, so that I can understand their perspective & pain, & convey that I'm present for them & that they are loved, valued & not alone.
Israelite Lives Matter
3:11 And Moses said to God, Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, & that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?
4:4 And Moses answered & said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken to my voice: for they will say, The Lord has not appeared unto thee.
10 And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since you have spoken to thy servant: but I am slow of speech, & of a slow tongue.
Moses, I Heard Your Cries
ISREALITE LIVES MATTER
In response to God emphasizing “Israelite Lives Matter“, Moses cries: “Moses’ Life Matters” as he turned the focus away from Israelites & back on himself. Exodus chapters 3 & 4 is a lot of back & fourth as God seeks to keep the big idea of the Israelites in focus & Moses seeks to keep Mose's issues in focus.
Are there ways you've meant well, but responded to a focus, post, or conversation addressing racism in specific way by 1st drawing attention to y-o-u-r pains & insecurities, y-o-u-r discomfort or to a (well-what-about) by bringing up a different theme or subject you think is more important in that space?
God, give me wisdom so that I don't hijack or distract from the big idea or specific emphasis being presented by another. Help me engage each fully & focused - which is how I myself would hope to be engaged when I bring up an emphases in a separate space.
In this season addressing racial oppression, people will sometimes not respond in focused, sensitive, or loving ways - Father, help me respond with godliness to all those who react with all forms of misdirection. Give me patience & kindness toward the unfocused responders genuinely trying to figure things out, & grace to bless & not curse trolls with lessor intentions.
REACTIONARY TO SOLUTIONARY
Imagine standing on holy ground in the presence of God in front of a burning bush, receiving an invitation to partner with God to bring justice to an oppressed people. Moses' immediate reaction was to hem & haw & push-back. He was likely unaware of how stray skewed perspectives, fears & experiences from his past were shaping his less than ideal primary reaction to God's invitation.
Many whites who consider themselves the least racist or most loving people you’ll ever meet may also genuinely be unaware of how or why their responses to the highlighted issues of racism are inappropriate, counterproductive, insensitive, hurtful, &, well, unChristlike.
Many people of color may also not be aware of how their exposure to racism & its subsequent humiliations & trauma can easily result in reactions toward others around this issue, especially whites, that are hypersensitive, inappropriate, counterproductive, insensitive, hurtful, & unChristlike.
May we listen to one another beyond 1st reactions.
Many we believe the best of each others intentions.
May we receive Gods wisdom to keep engaging & asking questions that help move conversations about racism from denial or reactionary toward partnering with God for solutions...
GETTING IN THE GAME
God listened as Moses offered excuses to not get involved. Excuses regarding this current issue look like denying or diminishing the reality of racism, blaming those impacted by it, or like some in the Church, stating that efforting justice for the oppressed is not an aspect of the Kingdom Of God & therefor not something Christians should involve themselves in.
Give me the right heart & words to call the silent Church to the frontlines where injustice, inequity & oppression have been un-confronted by the justice & love of God.
All the reasons Moses offered God were not wrong, but they were out of sync with God’s heart , focus, & purposes for that season. You can be right about some things & miss the bigger picture.
God, I don't want to miss the bigger picture.
God, thank you for shining a light on the plight of People Of Color. Greater freedom & equity are your purposes. Help me partner with you in these goals.