Race hurts. It hurts because it attacks the essence of who we are and it gets personal. It talks about our appearance, who our parents are, where we live and how we behave. It either says that it is wrong and bad or that it is good and better; either way, it places us at odds with the one to whom we are being compared.
Race is a touchy subject because race does not allow us to be healed. Its existence is predicated upon our pain, the belief that we are not good enough. Despite God’s declaration to the contrary, each incident of hatred picks at it (Genesis 1.31). “See, I told you so,” race says to us.
Sorry, there are no race physicians; instead, we will have to heal ourselves (Luke 4.23). But, first we will need to admit that we have a problem, that race is a problem and troublesome when it comes to our Christian identity and the practice of faith.
We must talk about it. Don’t make excuses for it: “Oh, it’s not so bad. It looks worse than it is. It doesn’t hurt.” We must not pretend that we are stronger than we are and admit that race has hurt us and is hurting us. We can heal from the effects of race by talking about it. But, we cannot heal what we do not speak about.
We need to tell our selves that we have been hurt by race. This, too, is a sign of strength. Acknowledging that we have and are in pain is important. Then, we can tell someone else.
Diagnose the problem. How and when and where has race hurt you? Be specific. Locate your pain not the pain of “your people.”
Seek out a cure. It is not enough to point at the wound if we are not going to apply an ointment. Mine is the word of God. What’s yours?