As a white Christian woman, I knew the power of expressing kindness. My parents embodied it, the faith community that surrounded me in my childhood and youth taught me to be "the hands and feet of God". I was a "nice" white woman who always intended to help, not hurt, and provided what was needed to those who needed it more than I did.
And I did not dig deeper. Until I did. I then realized a current often swept me into very favorable circumstances. And another current swept others often into circumstances fraught with obstacles to overcome - obstacles that any person would find daunting and demoralizing, and for no reason other than something as arbitrary as the color of skin.
Further study, conversation and reflection made it clear to me that these obstacles are supported by systems. Systems that I never considered much less questioned. And my privilege as a white person in this world became shockingly clear to me. And I realize how much work I have to do in my soul, with God and within my community.
Right now, I am in a place of searching. Searching my soul to uncover the threads of racism that exist within me, to honestly look at them, hold them to the light and do my very best to deny them by working to strengthen the threads of anti-racism that also exist within me.
I realize I cannot do this alone. A community of faith, committed to reckoning with this, is the way forward. Toward understanding. Toward humility.