The Charleston Church Shooting & A Plea For My People To Join In The Suffering

Thursday, June 18, 2015

So I've drifted in and out of a nightmarish scene since I finally closed my eyes around 3am. I woke this am with tears streaming down my face with a clear vision of the dream I had just had.

It was me, sitting at a table with the shooter and my people, my Aden right beside me when he pulled out a gun. I dove under the table with him to try and protect him but I couldn't. The gunmen looked him straight in the eye, smiled and shot him and then told me I could live to tell about it. I picked up that head full of blonde hair and stared into the sea of his blue eyes screaming, yet breathless....


Luckily for me it was a dream. I woke up and ran to look at all of my children safe in their beds. But for 9 families and countless loved ones and church members that isn't the reality yet again this morning. 

But maybe that is what we all need to do right now. Imagine if these strings of hate filled incidents were YOU AND YOURS. 

Close your mind to what you hear and see and imagine if it was your life, your child, your church family. Stop buying into the garbage you have been spoon fed since birth, stop lumping people into categories based off your fears, stop believing the lie that just because you aren't racist doesn't mean your neighbors don't still live it and feel it every.single.day. Stop protecting yourself by living in denial because it's easier and safer and more tidy there and just for a moment get as outraged at injustice as if it were you and yours.

I am a 36 year old white woman who has everything I could ever need and I am so outraged at the apathy towards the reality my dark skinned friends live, it leaves me on my face daily asking God to keep my mouth and body under HIS control. Because you know what I want to do. I want to scream and yell, I want to fight. I want to rise up and lash out. I want to shake you out of your safe contrived sense of reality that makes nothing that doesn't involve you matter, 

I want to pour the countless story of heartache and heartbreak into your brains and hearts and make your heart beat empathy instead of apathy. 

I want everyone to be able to look at the teenage deep brown skinned boy who lived in my house and see value and promise and love and hope and worth just because.



I don't want you to be defensive when you see a large black woman or man or a group of 10 teenage boys boys with baggy jeans headed your way. And I want to really push you and I want you to think of that same boy of mine and his string of bad choices just like yourself, totally a mess, imperfect and loved all the way to the cross of Jesus, not a hopeless thug and a good example of "one of them". I am here to tell you that I can match his transgressions, the drugs, the defiance, the law breaking and circle them round again and no one is ever going to brand me a thug or be afraid of me waling down the street. No one would have dared mashed my many times drunk obnoxious face in the ground while clad in a bikini, because I was running my mouth and I was somewhere I wasn't supposed to be. Because I have been that girl, far too many times. There is born in grace on my forehead and I am privilege to it every single day. But ya'll, there is no us and them, there are no people camps in heaven. There are going to be sinners and saints splattered around in a ray of skintones because that is what we all are, sinners now saints because of the vastness of the cross.

I want to be angry, oh I want to let loose all the pent up everything, I want to list the wrongs and point out all the things. I want to be God. I do. But the same Jesus that won't let me tolerate blatant racism or even that of those who prefer to try and hide their hatred and fear and prejudice by all the good Christian things they do, He won't let me tolerate the outpouring of my human emotions either. He changed that too. But, I can not for one second know how my dark skinned brothers and sisters continue to forge on. They are stronger than any others I know. And that's exactly why I think the spiritual battle is so strong against them.

I am reading the book Anything by Jennie Allen and I want to read you this section that I read yesterday before all of this tragedy occurred. It was referenced by Jennie from Tommy Nelson, a pastor they know and love.

 It is titled "If I Were The Devil".

"If I was the devil, I'd tell you what I'd do. I would try to deceive you and yet you into error. I would get you off base. And if you still stayed true, I would try to disqualify you. I would get you immoral, I would get you where no one would believe what came out of your moth. I would make you a tabloid, where nobody would believe you. I would remove your confidence until you were afraid to speak because your life was a shamble. I would get you into sin. I would prowl like a roaring lion to devour you morally. 

And if I couldn't do that, I would try to make you successful. And I would distract you if I couldn't disqualify you. I would get you busy.  I would get you distracted by the gospel that no longer would your prayers be holiness and souls. They would only be about the bottom line in your business. I would get you materialistic and no longer concerned about the spiritual nature of life. If I couldn't do that I would divide you. 

IF I COULDN'T DIVIDE YOU I'VE ALMOST LOST YOU. 

You know what I'd do then? I'd DISCOURAGE you. I'd try death. 

I WOULD TRY MY BEST TO KILL YOU. THAT IS WHAT I'D DO TO TAKE YOU OUT."

This is true for all of us, but I can't help but think of my African American brothers and sisters today as those words flash back in my mind. And all I can do with my worn heart is thank the Lord for their strength till the very end. I have been so blessed to truly, deeply know and live in relationship with so many strong, beautiful, courageous people with skin different than mine, it's reshaped how I view the world, it's shown be a different face of God than I have ever known, from right down my street to that little brick church in Rwanda where babies skulls were smashed into walls by rebel soldiers. 10,000 people crammed in a church because they thought they'd be safe from the war raging outside her doors... Now 1 million lives lost later, those two groups of people, the Hutu's and Tutsie's who hunted out and killed for the sake of being superior live hand in hand, side by side, not just integrated but united and  reconciled through nothing other than the love of Jesus Christ.



I have hope, in a way Rwanda gave me that. I know Jesus is the source, the beginning of it all,  but my human eyes have now seen and touched and tasted the depths of His redeeming arm if...we would just put ourselves second, even last and commit to doing hard things. But oh God, do I pray it won't take us a Genocide to make it to true love and responsibility to one another. If I'm honest, that anything is not something I want to sacrifice, but if God is for us, who can be against us.

I pray today for those in Charleston, a city that I love so deeply. I pray for my sister friend Rushawnda​ and her family as the mourn the loss of their family member and pastor Rep Pinckney. My heart bleeds out with you. I will not stop using my voice along side you and I won't stop the prayers for you. I can not stop. We are better together, in our suffering and our joy.

There is a beautiful group I am privileged to be a part of that encompasses some amazing men and women from around the country. Bridge Builders began with my new friend Tasha's heart for doing just that- building bridges and wrestling through lots of emotions for the intent of reconciliation and making the church who a credible witness to the gospel. 

If you don't know what to do, let me tell you first and foremost, 
You matter. Your voice matters. Your presence matters. 

I have already begun with friends locally to form our own reconciliation circle and I would love to have you join us. This is for everyone, all ages, all stages, all voices who want to do something, to learn, to be the change. It's hard and it hurts. It's messy but it matters. For more information message me at amandakobb@gmail.com. I'd love to pull you up a chair. 


Lamenting today and praying for hearts of change, for empathy turned apathy and for God's redeeming grace to flood this country like a rushing river.

Break Every Chain..





3 comments:

  1. I love you girl - your passion and compassion. I hope I'm always right there at your side with you, fighting the hard, but oh so important, battles.

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    Replies
    1. till the very end sister. you are mine. i need you more than you will ever know. thanks for doing life with me. all of it. xoxoxo

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