“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. 9 For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
~ First Corinthians 3.6-9, NRSV
Paul was speaking of divisions within the young Corinthian church but I am writing of the thought that race is apart of our identity, that it is working or directing the assembly line of our purpose. Well, it is not.
And that thought, that belief divides us against the truth of God. God uses messengers and race is not one of them. Race is not even on the list of substitutes or replacements.
Race is not at the table either, not in the meetings with God, not apart of the discussion or on the agenda, not in the conversation or in the loop when it comes to the formation of our being and its purpose in the earth. Because race does not hold us together; instead, it dismembers us, disconnects us, fragments us.
That is a social construct, a figment of the political and economic imagination. It is hoped and dreamed about that we would believe that we are made up of externals. Persons bank on it and invest in it. It is the reason for our consumption as Americans. We believe that we are made better upon the improvement and advancement of our external appearance.
We plant accessories and water them but, there is no increase from God in such. We don’t feel better about ourselves but worse. Before long, the standard is raised or changed with the season and what was in is now out, which leaves us on the margins again, on the cutting board, the chopping block again.
Race and its assembly line only adds things that take away from us: stereotypes, prejudices, hatreds, guilt, shame, jealousy, pride, greed and the like. It roots us, plants us in a position of defense and segregation. It waters our insecurities and there is no increase from God in such.
Today, I encourage us to get off of race’s assembly line and to stop working there. Turn in your badges and beliefs, your goggles and gloves, your uniform and letter of resignation. It’s time to strike in order to shut down the factory of racial beings. I’m blowing the whistle this morning.