Jon and I spent last night searching our hearts together. We spoke of the results of this year’s election, and what it might mean to those around us. Jon shared a story about a friend at work who’d made a derogatory, racist comment. Jon’s response? To laugh.
We talked about this sort of knee-jerk, unthinking reaction that is our inheritance. We grew up with the jokes, the comments. We were conditioned to join in the fun, or at least to look the other way. We were urged not to date the black boy or the Jewish girl and told that mixed-race children didn’t have a place.
We grieve what we were taught. We grieve the jokes we’ve laughed at, the comments that we’ve made. I told him we must stand against these seemingly small acts of racism, he told me it’s not enough but it’s a start. We agreed that words can wound, or words can heal. We agreed: we must do better.
We settled into silence, feeling the weight of choices past and those before us. Together, in a darkness penetrated by the glowing embers of a fire, enveloped in the incense of this little church that will no longer remain silent.