I've been thinking about the people who have poured into my life as well as those who have left a mark on me and didn't know they had done that. Some of those are incredible black leaders and friends. Regardless of your race or your geographic location, God has a place for your AND will use you to touch many lives for His cause. Who are some of the people who have left a mark in your life?
Some of those who have encouraged me through history and my learning: Tony Evans, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr, Maya Angelou, Tony Dungy, Miles McPherson and others.
A few who have touched my life: Boykin McNeal, Shaun King, Alan Preston, Melissa Gravely, Matthew Murphy, Leon White, Steve Canty and others.
I could name others, but that is a good list to begin with. Thinking through these people, those I know personally and those I don't, there are some things that come to mind that we, as Christians, need to realize that seek.
God intended for us to bless and encourage others no matter of the differences we might find. For way to long we have drawn lines between socioeconomic, religious denominational and racial lines. We have become racist in one way or another. Those lines need to be erased. That doesn't happen through compromise. It comes through love. It comes through purpose and seeking to be part of community that is making a difference.
Please hear me well. I confess that I have allowed some of those lines to keep me from relationships in the past. Living in the south, including time in the deep south, made those lines wider. At this point in my life, I am seeking to erase lines and minister to all people. I need friends that stretch me and take me to places that I would not go on my own. Those places are spiritual, intellectual and physical.
How can we do a better job at reaching all people? How can we erase the lines that divide us? This will only happen as we plan for that to happen and reach out even when it is not comfortable. Our church, The Community Fellowship, lives in a way that few churches I have seen live. We are reaching people of all colors and races. We are seeking to make a difference in the lives of people who are hurting, hungry and homeless. Pain and heart ache is color blind. True faith in God is color blind.
The last part of the program last night was a choir from one of the black churches in our county. They were so good. I love the fact that we can be honest about this; most of my white friends have no rhythm. That choir rocked.
It is time we learn, reach out and do what Jesus would do ... touch every life for His kingdom!