It’s been a week since One Woman Can Change the World was launched into the world it wants to serve well. I should be encouraging you to buy the book. Gosh, I’d love for you to buy the book. Honestly.
Instead, I’m going to encourage you to consider some words, or perhaps reconsider them. Is it really true that:
Racism is a sin issue, not a skin issue?
I’ve said them before, and I know a lot of folks who see this world and the people in it as in need of redemption believe the words to be true. But the women in the book keep teaching me to see God’s full design. And so, here we are once again…seeing things in a different way that fuels gritty hope.
Most certainly, racism and all its chums—hate, privilege, indifference, oppression—are sin. They are fueled by the same fear and pride that caused humanity to thumb its nose at its Creator and say,, “I think I’d be a better God than You.” We’ve seen how that’s worked for us, and we bear not only the sins of our own doing and undoing, but also the collateral damage of the collective sins of those who have come before us. Do we need to be redeemed? You better believe it. We’re a mess.
But if God Himself would see human flesh as part of an essential wardrobe to demonstrate what redemptive love, gritty hope, overwhelming mercy, perfect justice, and amazing grace looked like as it lived out its days, perhaps we should see skin in a different way. Jesus—the way, the truth, and the life—wore the rugged skin of the oppressed and said, “You want to see God’s character? I’m right here. Look at Me.”
God wore skin. And He was crucified by those who saw themselves as right and holy, and saw that skin as the enemy.
Galatians 6 says this: Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.
If My friend Lucy cares for children and families living with HIV, protecting them from folks and systems that say they are not quite human, or that they are dangerous, or that they are not quite worthy of love. Lisa cares for teen moms who are told by society that they should have just kept their knees together. Miss Mary does what she can to liberate kids who are demonized and dehumanized simply because they are deaf. They’re dealing with the issue of sin while holding souls wrapped in skin. In the epilogue of the book, I write this about two of the women, “Instead of pondering possibilities, both fix their eyes on Jesus and take the blows for the ones they love.” Remember, fear writes bad storylines because fear can’t spell hope. We have a perfect example in Christ of how hope lives. Let’s repent of the sin and hold souls wrapped in skin.