We’ve got two eyes, two ears, and only one mouth. I believe it’s for a reason. As a white woman who desires to be an ally to my black community, I feel that it is crucially important to take watch and learn first. You’ve got to assess a situation and take notice before you can help. Here’s what I’ve read so far. I’ll continue to add to this list (open to suggestions!), but I think this is a decent place to start if your heart beats for racial reconciliation and you want to learn more.
iPhone apps I use practically everyday (and you might, too):
Twitter. My first and forever social media love. This is where I stay caught up current events, politics, local happenings, and pop culture. This is also the number 1 spot for me to stay engaged with the Black community and learn more about my role in the journey to racial reconciliation. Black Twitter is like, the most amazing, thoughtful, helpful, HILARIOUS thing to happen to the Internet.
Clue. Because ladies, we are WAY TOO OLD to not know what’s happening to our bodies on the regular. I chart my periods, moods, and pain here (this includes random headaches or fatigue). You can remove the parts of charting you don’t want (ovulation, for example, if you aren’t trying to make more babies). You can also receive push notifications as a heads-up when things are heating up (i.e. DO NOT PICK A FIGHT WITH YOUR HUSBAND TODAY, YOU’RE A LITTLE CRAY). Speaking of husbands, mine actually started charting my cycles way before I did. Because he’s kind and gentle and brilliant.
Audible. For a monthly subscription fee, you get one free book each month, plus discounts to a bajillion other audio books. I try to get through two books per month, and I’ll listen to everything from celebrity memoirs to heavy women-in-the-Church theology. This also keeps me from checking my phone while driving (yikes) or gorging on NPR all day in the car.
Wunderlist. I know I’ve talked about it before, but it just cannot NOT make the list today. My husband and I started using it three years ago when we had a knock-down drag-out discussion (lol) about rhythms and grocery shopping and how alone I felt in the household duties. He found this app and we’ve been using it happily and faithfully ever since. In addition to our grocery lists (which we have categorized by store), we keep wish lists for ourselves and dream projects for the house on there. It’s a great place to store ideas for gifts and travel, as well.
Google Maps. Just kidding. I mean, yes, but that’s boring. Let’s go with VSCO. This is where I collect photos that I know I’d like to share someday. I’m able to edit them at my own pace, while I either come up with a clever caption or wait for the Lord to give me something to share (this does NOT mean the Lord isn’t clever. He very much is). I do try to keep a certain aesthetic look on my Instagram, a concept about which I am absolutely unashamed, and I prefer the M5 and the S2 filters with a few tweaks thrown in.
Last week’s events have left me in an utterly sad place. I’m not black, I don’t have family in law enforcement, and I’ve never lost a relative to gun violence. It’s tempting to feel as if it’s not my place to mourn in such a way that feels like I can’t catch my breath and my heart might fall out of my body.
But that’s the way it feels. This is my country, too. These are my people. And I’m trained for it. I know how to hurt with the hurting. I’m not easily shocked or rattled by tragedy. And more than all of that, this is the burden God’s given me.
I don’t get riled up about every issue that comes across my screen, and I’m usually unwilling to engage in dialogue on subjects that make Christians famous – or infamous. It’s not that I feel disdain for people passionate about all of the things, but it just doesn’t feel effective. I can’t afford to get distracted. Love God, love people. Love God, love people.
But racial reconciliation? This is a flag I’ll wave even when my arms get tired. This is a hill upon which I’m willing to die. This is a legacy I’d like to leave my children, a fiery torch I hope to pass. This is one of many ways I want to love God, and love people. And so on I’ll trudge. One day at a time. Slowly, surely, intentionally, and prayerfully.
I am grateful for a church willing to wade into the mess this morning, helping me fumble for hope and throwing me a lifeline in 2 Corinthians 1. He HAS delivered us, and He WILL delivered us. I am relieved at the idea of a God who is never surprised, a God who still holds the world in his hands while it bleeds.