Speaking out is so hard because every time I open my mouth, I seem to say the wrong thing. I have conversations in my mind that make all the sense in the world, but in reality, it falls short of what I need to say or should say.
As a child, I had voices in my head that taught me to hate, judge, divide, and separate people that did not look like me. I was poor, but I was a part of the majority. In 1969, I was a part of the first integrated class in Junior High School to mix the races. I became a minority in the school, and I was only ten years old. My dad taught me how to hate and what the difference was in the color of skin. In 1972, the bus ministry picking up black kids and bringing them to church clouded our church life. In response, our family left the church. I was 13 years old. I experienced race riots during my high school years, and the hate grew deeper, and the voices in my head got louder, and hate dominated my mind. In 1977, the one voice that spoke into my spirit was the voice of the Lord. He drew me to Himself and a relationship that has been the voice in my head ever since.
For 43 years, the voice of the Lord who speaks only His truth has daily replaced the voices I learned as a child. Every day I wake up to one voice that speaks out, and it is the voice of truth, righteousness, justice, honor, love, and gentleness. It is a daily process of His voice overriding the voices of the past that divide, separate, hate, judge, and causes me to stop and listen to His truth that guides my truth so that as I speak out it is not my voice but His voice.
I will never be black but have worked in the Black community for more than 40 years. As a white man, I have always been a part of the majority culture. As a child, I was beaten and discriminated against during the school transitions, but that does not excuse me from speaking out for my brother and sister as we are all part of the human race. Black lives matter, and I have to own the fact that I have not spoken up and out enough to challenge my fellow brother and sister that look like me. Now, the voice in my head is God’s voice saying all the right things. His voice guides me into the daily truth of how I am to live and act and react to what is happening today in our country. I am angry, and I want to pursue love at all costs for all humanity. I have to speak out and speak up so that others hear out loud what is being said into my mind by my Father.
I am sorry for the hurt I caused by not speaking out, the harm I have done by not speaking up, the words I have said, and for when I have spoken my truth looking through my lens and not God’s truth through His lens. My heart needs to be displayed, and I need to speak out truth. I pray for God to change my heart and mind daily with His truth and free me to be a man who can speak out for righteousness and justice. Black lives matter.
Tracy uses this Bible with eye-holes drilled through to remind him to look at the world through the lens of God’s word and not through his own eyes.