another pebble?

pebbles 2Occasionally a pebble finds its way into your shoe.

The pebble is a nuisance so you do a little dance in a desperate effort to move that nasty little pebble to a less annoying spot.

The pebble, being stubborn, will not go away and it starts to really infuriate and annoy you.

What shall we do?

Well . . . You could ignore the pebble! You know what I mean — you could keep strolling along, doing your thing, walking in discomfort wishing the pain away. Who knows, if you ignore the pebble long enough maybe you’ll forget all about it, right?

Not!

You could visit your friendly neighborhood barista in search of some serious mood alteration; macchiato, anyone? Why not, masking the pain means that it’s not really there anymore, right?

Or . . . you could just take off your shoe and dump out the pebble.*

All of us are confronted with the destructive effects of racism on a daily basis yet, for some reason, instead of dealing with the root cause of the problem we go to incredible lengths to ignore it.

—-Think about that. Go ahead I’ll wait for you to finish thinking.

Now that you’ve thought about it; did you process how far we will go to ignore the problem of racism?
Did you notice how we ignore the effects of racism on all of us?

It should seriously make you cringe as you become aware of the mind-blowing realization that we, all of us, try to ignore racism away?

—-Notice that the emphasis on try?

That is because try as we might to ignore racism; to search for that magic elixir that will dull or mask the pain of racism, racism does not, racism will not, go away.

Once more for those who missed it: racism does not, racism will not, go away simply because we ignore it! So, why not try a radical new alternative; a paradigm shift if you will.

Let us — all of us, you and me, our neighbors and friends, the whole of the family of God, try to address the problem. Let us analyze the issue, determine a course of action and proceed to eradicate that which ails us —- racism.

Realize that, if racism were like a large boulder it would be hard to miss, hard to ignore. But, like that pesky little pebble in your shoe, the one that you always try to ignore, racism is not usually noticed but it will — notice the emphasis — racism will eventually wear you down.

Racism will eventually wear me down. Racism will eventually wear us all down. Racism… will destroy us!!!

After all, a pebble left unchecked will act like a boulder and turn simple discomfort into a potentially life altering event.

Let us pray
O Compassionate Healer, we believe that if you choose, you can make us clean.
Compassionate Healer, make us clean.

Cleanse us from the sins of racism that infect us. Wash away the secretly and openly harbored belief that anyone is intrinsically more worthy than others simply because of the color of skin.
Compassionate Healer, make us clean.

From participation in sinful structures that favor one race of people over others,
Compassionate Healer, make us clean.

O Compassionate Healer, You who speaks through stillness and quiet, in word and symbol, we thank you for giving us the time and ability for our pondering, our struggles, our listening, our growing.

You are able to accept in us that which we cannot even acknowledge.
You are able to hold in your memory that which we have tried to forget.
You are able to hold out to us a reconciliation that we cannot even conceive of.

Give us courage to name the stones of racial discrimination within us, the stones of racial discrimination outside of us; Give us courage to name all that we have rejected in ourselves, and all that we have rejected in others. May we find no part of your creation to be alien or inferior to us.

We open up our hands to You. We release our grip on that which harms ourselves and others, so that Your creation may be healed and made whole.

Compassionate Healer, make us clean. Amen

*paraphrased from the parable of a pebble in your shoe