Creating a Community of Love and Acceptance for Our Neighbors
These are hard days for minorities. I asked one of my Chinese friends what it’s like to constantly be hearing about a China versus US trade battle. He immediately said he was scared for his kids and how they are treated at school. I asked several Hispanic friends what it’s like after the El Paso shooting, and they immediately said that they and their friends were scared to go to public places. I asked a Jewish friend what it’s like to see synagogues threatened, and he said he thinks about it every day. I have also asked several African American friends what it’s like to see so much tension and a rise in white supremacy news. They respond with words like scary, sad, alarming, and fear for their kids. The individuals I listed above are our neighbors. They are people just like us. They go to school with our kids; they play on soccer teams with our children. They long for connection like everyone else. If you are a white citizen of the US, as I am, it is easy to conclude that the above-mentioned individuals are overreacting. I often hear people say that. However, we are not in the position to draw that conclusion. We don’t know what it’s like to experience these types of situations.
So, what can we do about this? What can we do to calm fears and create communities where all people can feel accepted, welcomed, cared for, and comfortable to assemble and shop and eat and send their kids to the bus stop?
We Can’t Wait for Others.
I know what we can’t do. We can’t wait for the next election or wait for Congress to legislate civility or expect someone to just rise-up and change this. I know this is a complex issue, but we must do something, and we must do it now.
If you are reading this and you follow Christ, would you join me in looking for ways daily to show some unexpected love and kindness to those who wake up every day in fear?
Ways to Show Unexpected Kindness and Love
- A friendly smile or holding the door for a person is a start.
- Asking a person what it’s like to see their culture talked about or targeted can create a great opportunity for empathy.
- Buying a person’s coffee can make a person feel loved and welcomed.
- Having a neighbor who experiences these fears over for dinner can create a powerful connection.
- Just practicing “old school” friendliness and greeting people as they pass you in the grocery store isle or in any public place can change a person’s outlook.
I beg all of us in these days of immigrant fears, mass shootings, trade wars, and white supremacy boldness to do the unexpected for people who live with heightened fear. Love does the unexpected and I am naive enough to think that I can change a person’s fears for a moment or an hour or for a day by doing something unexpected for them. Let’s combat the evil with simple acts of kindness for all minorities in these days of fearfulness.