March 09

Out of the gloomy past

Sunday morning in church the closing hymn was “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” I love this hymn and have sung it countless times. But yesterday I looked around at all of the people of color in our church, several families of immigrants from Africa, one (that I know of) couple from Jamaica and many African-Americans who I’m guessing have former slaves in their family trees, as well as our own daughter of Chinese ancestry. I remembered the words of a biracial friend of mine once when we discussed race. “Racism ends when the person with the prejudice begins to really care about one person in the group being discriminated against. All it takes is one person to change that person’s heart.” So where do we start? Simply. How about one random act of kindness today for someone who is not of your race? It can be as simple as smiling and saying hello to a stranger you pass, buying a cup of coffee for the crossing guard at school, volunteering at a tutoring center, thanking the garbage man. One person’s heart for one moment. Today.