God’s dream is that you and I and all of us will realize that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion. In God’s family, there are no outsiders, no enemies. Black and white, rich and poor, gay and straight, Jew and Arab, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Buddhist–all belong. When we start to live as brothers and sisters and to recognize our interdependence, we become fully human.
The world lost a great champion for justice in the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu on December 28, 2021. He will always be remembered for his role in the fight to end apartheid in South Africa. In his book, “God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time,” he wrote:
“God cares about justice and injustice. God is in charge. That is what had upheld the morale of our people, to know that in the end good will prevail. It was these higher laws that convinced me that our peaceful struggle would topple the immoral laws of apartheid. Of course, there were times when you had to whistle in the dark to keep your morale up, and you wanted to whisper in God’s ear: ’God, we know you are in charge, but can’t You make it a little more obvious?” … God did make it more obvious to me once during what we call the Feast of Transfiguration. Apartheid was in full swing as I and other church leaders were preparing for a meeting with the prime minister to discuss one of the many controversies that erupted in those days. We met at a theological college that had closed own because of government’s racist policies. During our discussions I went to the priory garden for some quiet. There was a huge Calvary – a large wooden cross without corpus, but with protruding nails and a crown of thorns. it was a stark symbol of the Christian faith. It was winter: the grass was pale and dry, and nobody would have believed that in a few weeks it would be lush and green and beautiful again. It would be transfigured. As I sat quietly in the garden I realized the power of transfiguration – of God’s transformation – in our world…. I have witnessed time and time again that improbable redemptions are possible in our world. “
Grace and Race Ministries, Inc. is committed to continuing the work of addressing racism working through the lens of the Christian faith. I confess that I sometimes experience frustration witnessing ongoing incidents and expressions of systemic racism, even in our churches and faith-based organizations. But the call to create intentional anti-racist relationships grows louder in my spirit, even when it is unheard and/or unheeded by others.
The work of creating space to establish meaningful relationships and friendships across racial difference requires a long-term investment. As people of faith, we know hopelessness is not an option. The past few years have required most of us to focus more intensely on the basics of everyday living in the midst of a global pandemic. Our priorities are shaped by concerns about our families, life, death, health, housing, finances, education, safety and over all well-being. It is easy to question the value of working on anything else in the face of these constant challenges. Tutu taught that “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” No matter where you stand, he said we all have a role to play. “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
We invite you to join in the efforts of Grace and Race Ministries, Inc , as we press forward, to execute acts of service striving to do a little bit of good in the ongoing journey toward the dream God has for us.