This Friday I need to set aside my keyboard. No writing this week. Appalled by the violence and hatred shown in Charlottesville, I have plenty to say. I am far from speechless. I want to assert that I am anti-hate and violence. I am anti-white supremacy, or any supremacy that asserts one class of people over another. Most especially, I deplore any justification of hatred and violence through scripture or twisted Christian doctrine. Such justifications are blasphemous.
But today I need to set aside my keyboard. No writing this week. Chances are, dear reader, that you, like I, have received a barrage of statements, postings, blogs, and proclamations decrying the events in Charlottesville. You don’t need to hear another.
I need to set aside my keyboard and put on my shoes.
Fry On Friday is intended to offer descriptions of how my faith is lived out week by week. Faith is not a set of opinions, even strong opinions. Responding to Charlottesville, I can begin to feel that stating my opinions and condemning sinful actions is sufficient as my Christian response. It is not.
We are called to walk with Christ, not type with Christ. I need to explore how I can do my faith regarding racism, not how I feel or what I say. I’m looking for ways to act that are more than symbolic gestures, more than attending rallies or signing petitions.
The ways I’ve come up with so far are so trivial they’re embarrassing.
- I resolve to smile warmly to every person I meet wearing a hajib, a yarmulke, or who is covered in tatts.
- I resolve to attempt to strike up a conversation or at least a friendly greeting in every encounter with a person of a different race.
- I resolve that no person twenty years older than me or twenty years younger will ever be made to feel invisible to me.
These are such small actions, I’m uncomfortable naming them. None of them will make a huge difference in the world. But on a molecular level, perhaps they will join with others in setting a new tone of respect, of civility, of community.
My faith is not measured by what I write but what I do. To paraphrase Barbara Brown Taylor, when I want to know the quality of my faith, I look in the mirror and ask which is moving, my mouth or my feet.