A Light of Hope in the Darkest of Times
Welp. Last week, we saw what happens when ignorance, hypocrisy, denial, and white privilege converge on a mass scale. In short, white people lost their entire minds. We often talk about microaggressions. Well, what we witnessed in the U.S. Capitol building last week was a macro-aggression. The implications of the historic election in Georgia and an incoming Democratic presidential administration resulted in a moment where a-historicity, social isolation, distorted information, and an echo chamber empowered whiteness to show up and show out. Busloads of people who wanted to “stop the steal” did nothing other than show just how committed they are to their so-called whiteness. Spoiler alert: They’re willing to die for it.
We experienced one of the darkest days in our history last week, but I have managed to find a shred of hope. My hope in this dark moment is that those who have been entrenched in denial (even after all we have witnessed up until now) will be catalyzed toward action. I hope that, like the Apostle Paul, they will be quickened in their understanding of the implications of this moment. This moment has the power to teach them if they let it.
In The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origin of Race, Willie Jennings poetically summarizes our conundrum as people of faith on the issue of race: we keep starting the conversation at the wrong place. January 6th was a “water cooler moment” that should serve as a baseline for learning and shared facts. Juxtaposing the footage of police response to BLM protests and the insurrectionists will long stand as indisputable proof of the two Americas in which we live. As difficult and exhausting as the work is, we must continue it, especially as people of faith with the hope of glory residing in us.
The Jesus signs and Christian imagery carried by the insurrectionists turned many a stomach, but it also does us the favor of further differentiating between Christ’s true disciples and Cultural Christians. The former are pliable clay in the Master’s hands; the latter are silly putty in the hands of corrupt leaders.
The Scriptures teach us that when Christ’s second advent occurs, cracked sky and all, entrenched miscreants will actually take up arms against Him (Revelation 20:7-10). As a result, true believers must be resilient but not naïve. The dumpster fire that we saw on display at the Capitol does not paint the definitive image of the followers of a soon-coming Savior. His bride will not continue to be mired in a wicked and perverse world.
White people may have lost their minds, but we will remain sober-minded, clear-eyed, and vigilant.