In my distress, I called to the Lord, and He answered me: ‘Lord, deliver me from lying lips and a decietful tongue.'”
Some years ago, I realized that speaking of myself in terms of race was a deception. I was lying to myself. I was not really black… at least not yet. I had time to change my reality as I still was not totally convinced that blackness was the life for me. Yes, I believe this racialzed life to be a choice, much like that of a life dedicated to holiness or sinfulness. I believe that the soul, its will and emotions are more of a determinant than the social coloring of my skin. I also believe that the will of race is not above the will of God and that if God gives me the free exercising of will then certainly I had some time to consider the way that I wanted to live my life and the means by which I wanted to be led. I needed only to stop repeating this falsehoood and to remove myself from the company of those who had chosen this as their lot.
But, that was not enough as the race-less life requires a strength and a direction that is outside of me and yet, all around me. I cannot contain it though I strive for it. It is the transcendent identity that I have in Jesus Christ and I confess that it is greater than the social construct of race, the biological determinations of gender and the social stratifications of class. There is so much more to me that just does not fit into race. If I allowed myself to be contained by it, I would be agreeing to leave so much of myself out for the sake of maintaining its truths, which were really lies about me. And I simply could not and would not go along with the social program, this racial programming. I do not believe race to be the way.
Such a distancing from what is familiar and acceptable requires strength. Who could I appeal to as I sincerely felt sorry for this lie and all the others that race tells us? Where could I turn and who could I talk to? It was with these questions that I realized that race had no ear. So, how could I talk to race and race listen to me? Race had no mouth so what would be its response to my denial of its presence, my rejection of its rule? Race had no hand to point at me or to cast me out. In fact, race had no body. So, it was only and always using me. Today, I declare that I only want to be used by God. Lord, deliver me from lying lips and a deceitful tongue. I want no longer to be used by race. Amen.