A Season of Healing
Black History Month is always bittersweet for me. I appreciate the opportunity to amplify black voices and the unique contributions black Americans have made to our country. However, as a speaker and writer, I can't help but wish that everyone was just as excited to learn Black History from March through December as well.
This year I believe Lent provides the perfect opportunity to remedy this problem. If we make anti-racism part of our Lenten prayer routine we will be praying for healing in our country from the end of February through the beginning of April. And truly every meaningful Lent begins with a practice that should be more integrated throughout our entire lives. To that end I would like to share a meditation I wrote in my prayerbook entitled Sacred Remedy
If I walk out into the field, look! those slain by the sword. -Jeremiah 14:18
Like a lamb led to the slaughter, Our Lord was innocent, but bore the suffering of all sin. Jesus was mocked and whipped and utterly humiliated. Consider how His stripes are identical to those of the innocent slaves in America. Even as Americans continue to desecrate black bodies in the 21st century, our nation inflicts injury on the body of Christ. Bridegroom of souls, enlighten my heart to see all the ways I humiliate others. Purify my mind and heart so I may reverence your wounds.
Jesus reveals his intimate identification with those who suffer throughout scripture. In particular in The Last Judgment of the Gospel of Matthew 25:45 Jesus states, "Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me." This words may seem overwhelming, however it is truly an invitation to practice mercy. In the same way that we will be held responsible for every injury we inflict on the body of Christ, Jesus will honor every effort we make to bring healing to the body of Christ.
An exposed wound is painful, but it is also an occasion to rejoice. Illness that is hidden is more difficult to discover and to cure. Now that most of America is ready to openly acknowledge the reality of the sin of racism, the road to healing and reconciliation may truly begin. This road may seem daunting, but if we seriously commit ourselves to the assiduous work of prayer and repentance, a profound healing will take place. That healing will be the fertile soil for a renewed appreciation for the gifts and talents of each culture represented in our vibrant nation.
Lent is a unique opportunity to humbly recognize those practices which can seem overwhelming but should truly be integrated into our daily lives. This Lent let us embrace the invitation to add healing from the sin of racism to our daily prayer routine. Let us pray for the repose of the souls of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery by name. Let us pray the stations of the cross in reparation for the times when we have contributed to bias or prejudice against minorities. Jesus taught us that no Father denies His children who humbly pray for righteousness.