~ Hebrews 12.15, NRSV
Race gives us permission to think and do and be a lot of things, whether they are healthy or not, Christlike or not. It is a special pass, an acceptable excuse because we all understand. “It’s a race thing.”
You had to do it. Race made you do it. What else did we expect given the future outlook, the present predicament, the history of our relationship with “those people,” right?
Bitterness is one such result of our relationship with persons of other cultures for which race is an issue and/or plays a major role in our interactions and interpretations of attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. Bitterness is the consequence of years of unresolved conflict, unheard arguments and centuries of the silent treatment. We have gone to bed angry too many days.
Bitterness is the result of a meeting between anger, disappointment and resentment. Any time these three feelings are together, bitterness will result. And race causes these feelings to be present more often than not. In fact, they come together so often that it is more like a family gathering, an unhealthy reunion of sorts.
Race makes us bitter because the social construct was founded upon injustice, inequality and self- serving comparisons. It was created not to make us content but competitive, to say that these people are the winner and these were created to be losers.
But we all lose when we cultivate the fruit of bitterness, when we grow it, market it, sell it wholesale. It has defiled us all; all of our souls are dirty, rooted in this rottenness.
Race makes us bitter; let God makes us better through His grace. Let go of race and its bitterness. This is my prayer. Amen.