We give and spend millions of dollars in hopes of curing diseases that infect the body and prematurely take the lives of those we love. Worthy causes they all are. We also need to invest in a cure for race. This social infection compromises our relationships, vanquishes our self- awareness and understanding of our neighbors, local, national and global.
The effects of its prejudices and stereotypes have been devastating. It causes people to separate into groups of us and them. We take sides that do nothing more than pull us apart. Without techniques and proper training, there seems to be no means of putting them back together again. Friendships never form and we will never know how much has been lost in the absence of cross- cultural conversations.
We walk miles to raise money for these causes. It is good for our health and for the momentum of those who fight, but what of the distance we do not travel to make connections, random but intentional, with those who do not share our culture and traditions? Race has caused our members to be spread so far apart, not wanting to touch though we cannot function without each other.
Jesus asked a necessary question of a man who had been ill for thirty- eight years, “Do you want to be made well” (John 5.6)? Because it cannot be assumed that because a person is ill or even asks for help that she and he want the condition to change. Sometimes, we can get use to fighting, arguing, hating, living separately. And while the possibility of wholeness is accessible through the presence of Christ, we have gotten use to lying down. We’ve gotten comfortable with our position.
Today, I challenge us to answer the question or stop talking about the problem.