Family and Faith Magazine August-September 2015 - Page 26

FAITH OF BEING A BLACK CHRISTIAN IN TODAY'S WORLD #Charleston By Family and Faith Magazine, Editorial Director Shelly-Ann Harris A s a Black Christian, the Charleston shooting raised many issues in my heart about racism and faith in Christ in the world as it is today. The shooting broke my heart, brought me to tears, fired up indignation in my soul and eventually led me to deep and desperate reflection. How could God allow this to happen? And to His people in His house? As I peeled back the layers of questions, a curious, deep-rooted dichotomy in my perspective on persecution was revealed. Somewhere, in the midst of my unvarnished reflection before God, I began to realise that an attack on me because of my race was somehow more personal to me than an attack on me because of my faith, since a racist attack was largely about the centimetres of melanin lining my skin, the kinks in my hair, my unique form, the shape of my nose and an ideology anchored in the belief that all of these things made me less human. That is personal. The legacy of hundreds of years of institutional hatred, violence and white supremacy makes the lived experience of racism between countries and between 'neighbours' in small town communities in the United States and elsewhere, personal. 26 Still we expect God to deliver us from evil, as Jesus taught us to ask in the Lord's Prayer. God is our saviour, protector, provider, healer, defender and ܙ