“You are welcome here.” These were the words I didn’t realize I needed to say.
Twice now, I have been pleased to see a group of happy kids behind our house playing at an old, beat-up community basketball hoop. Boys play here every day, but these particular kids don’t live in our neighborhood. We know because we’ve never seen them. Oh – and their skin is a different color. We live on a college campus and most of our neighbors are our same race. However, our campus is in the midst of the city. And when we walk outside of the gates, races are different. And that’s why I love living here. My kids operate in a white bubble – private Christian school – suburban white church – white friends – but what we do have is our beloved inner-city. Here we see all types and colors and it is glorious. I consider it a (small) taste of heaven…where we will live in eternity with every tribe and nation.
This particular day, we pulled into our driveway, just feet away from the basketball hoop. I smiled at the kids playing ball and greeted them. I went inside to see about getting some snacks and Capri-suns for them. But by the time I got back outside, they were gone. I was saddened.
This is the second time they have played here and the second time they have disappeared quickly when we pulled up. I can only think it is because they feel they are not welcome here. Or, even if they don’t feel unwelcome, perhaps they feel uncomfortable. I’d feel the same if I went into a neighborhood not of my own race.
It’s such a sad state of affairs…especially here in the south. We are so utterly segregated from birth. I think my generation would love to change it. We would love to worship more together, live nearer, break bread together, and have more play dates together, but no one knows how to start that process. IT’S JUST HOW IT IS seems to be the mantra. I know I’m just blogging and not offering a solution, so I welcome comments. But my heart remains saddened.
Don’t you long for the day when we will all be clothed in robes together in eternity? Our skin will be different, but our outward garments will be identical because they will be the visible garments of salvation.
No more cultural distractions.
No more segregation of worship.
No more segregation of home.
No more segregation of the heart.
All are welcome.
For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7b