Where’s the Bridge
We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
That’s what we often say.
Well, we’ve come to it.
Before yet another Black man or woman, girl or boy, gets caught in the crossfire of racial injustice (and we’re already woefully late again this week), we need to not only see the need to get to the other side, we need to start running hard to reach the bridge. And cross over.
LaTasha Morrison lays out steps for us to get to the other side in her book, Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation. But not only to cross the bridge, but to BE the bridge:
- The bridge to lament
- The bridge to confession and forgiveness
- The bridge to restorative reconciliation (includes repentance, making amends, and reproducing)
LaTasha speaks from her Christian worldview. She talks about Jesus and the Bible and love. It’s talk we know. It’s actions we need to take.
Her personal experiences are sprinkled throughout the book. This incident took place at a community basketball game . . . .
And then she offered the boldest of statements. “It wasn’t all bad, you know. Many loved their slaves in the South,” she said. “They were treated like family.” Heart racing, emotions all over the place, I didn’t know whether to scream, cry, or shout.
. . . Practically speechless, I couldn’t find all the words to give her a brief inductive history lesson. Instead, I told her I’d read the slave narratives and that there was no love or care in slavery. “Love,” I said, “brings freedom, and slaves didn’t have freedom or choice. Family doesn’t leave family in bondage.”
This is a powerful book, a necessary book. I highly recommend we read it.
Then do it. Be the bridge.
Excerpts from Be the Bridge
Here are some excerpts from the book.
We can come to know the true facts, come to recognize our brokenness, yet not do anything about it. Awareness of the truth is useless without acknowledgment of our complicity or its effects on us.
~ * ~
Though a remnant desperately clutches to the fantasy of a “post-racial society,” every credible indicator confirms a deep and entrenched fracture along racial lines. Pick any index—education, economics, health—and the results make starkly apparent our racially stratified society.
~ * ~
The Black table. If there’s one thing non-White students know, it’s that the school cafeteria is the second-most-segregated place in our country, behind only church.
~ * ~
Some of my White friends thought color shouldn’t matter in the body of Christ, an easy thing for them to say. I’d ask them to imagine themselves in an all African American context, attending services where they never heard music by Hillsong, Bethel, Chris Tomlin, or Elevation Worship.
~ * ~
Imagine the pain this causes Black Americans when we’re invited to plantation weddings, the very place where our people were so thoroughly dehumanized.
~ * ~
In the love of the family of God, we must become color brave, color caring, color honoring, and not color blind. We have to recognize the image of God in one another.
~ * ~
Without looking back, without understanding the truth of our history, it’s difficult to move forward in healthy ways. And even though it might be painful to recount our history as a country, denying it leads us nowhere. Truth is the foundation of awareness, and awareness is the first step in the process of reconciliation. Jesus said as much: “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
~ * ~
But you can identify racial wrongs in the world around you and take one step toward making them right. That’s the work of reparation. That’s the work of the gospel.
~ * ~
If this book serves to highlight just one truth, I hope it’s that real beauty can come from the ashes of our country’s history with racism.
My thanks to Net Galley, WaterBrook
& Multnomah for the review copy
- 5 Books I Recommend—August 2020
- “So, What Do You Do?” When You Don’t Have an Answer