In Luke 18.1-8, Jesus shares a parable with those gathered to demonstrate the necessity of prayer and faith. He tells them of an unjust judge who neither fears God nor respects anyone. Consequently, one may wonder by what authority does this judge render his verdicts and to what purpose does this vocation fulfill, having no care for God and no concern for people? Jesus continues, saying that there is a widow who appeals to him for justice regarding her adversary. And she pleads incessantly. In fact, she makes this request so many times that irritated by the constant barrage of her petitions, he grants it. But even his verdict is not honorable in that he concedes not because she has proven her case but because he is simply sick and tired of hearing her story. He is tired of coming from his chambers only to see her yet again in his courtroom. He does not care about her plight or the pain that her adversary has caused her. He’s heard it all before.
Race is much like this judge— unjust, irreverent, and uncaring. Yet, many of us still plead with it. We hope that in turning to race, whether through Black Nationalism or white supremacy, that the wrongs committed by our adversaries will be made right. But, race has no faith in God or interest in the reconciling of humanity. And there is no justice in race. Its cases, whether for privilege or powerlessness, are unfounded and its judgments are unequal. Race is not with God or for humanity. Like any other human- made god, it was fashioned by our lips. It is us who render and live its judgments. But, there is a greater Judge who is compassionate and quick to come to our aid. But, do we have faith in this God or race?
This post also appears on the Grace & Race Ministries, Inc. website.