There is a mantra my group of friends speak over one another, ‘Know better, Do better!’ These words are at once acknowledging of a wrong and an extension of the grace we all need. I need that grace! I also need to stand, unflinchingly and see my wrongs.
I have been stopped in my tracks more then once this week. I’ve been taking the time to clean up old Facebook posts that come up in my memory feeds. This week has been hard, and yet good as I take a look at what I used to be ‘marked’ by. My news feed, posts and the videos I was tagged in are giving me some really honest feed back. I’m seeing how today, by grace, I know better. Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about.
- The video I was tagged in about the amazing gift of adoption. An interview with the adoptive family, loving and happy. The story of how these children got a new start because this adoptive family took them on and gave them love, safety and support.Not a bad sounding video. In fact, there was some great stuff in there, but here is what I saw this go-round that I missed before. The trauma these children faced. ALL they lost to make this story of adoption look good. I missed the great oversharing on the parent’s part about their children’s story. I missed the total denial of the children’s first family other then to mention drugs, abuse and abandonment. When we know better we do better….I removed my tag from that video. I will not use the stories of children who can not speak their own truth to further the education of others about adoption. So you won’t be reading our Children’s story. When they are grown women they can speak it out and their voices will do it more justice then mine ever could!
- I was tagged in AND re-posted a financial drive we were a part of to raise money for an orphanage over seas. Fill the beds. The post was covered in photos of children from the orphanage looking malnourished and poor with smiles too large for their gaunt faces. All black, because…Africa. Knowing and doing better looks like taking that post down and removing my tag. It also means that I won’t be using children’s faces to sell the American church on the idea that it’s good to give to those who don’t have all they need for safety and security. It means really, really knowing an organization that I encourage others to get involved with. It means realizing there are some larger questions to ask and that just because my church supports a work doesn’t mean I blindly follow. It means knowing my heartstrings and what emotional manipulation looks like!
- Reminders of my own past blog posts that smack of white fragility and the pride that kept me from asking the questions I needed to ask and doing the hard work that needed doing. I was fearful of being called out…of not adding up, and my children suffered. Knowing better and doing better looks like leaving those blog entries up with updated notes…so that I don’t forget where I come from and so that others know there is hope for change. It also means that I seek out diverse voices of wisdom. It means I ask questions and honor the answers even when they make me feel small, and before I justify my own feelings, doing better looks like sitting with my thoughts and feelings and seeking to understand the truth I asked for.
- The t-shirt that reads ‘SAVE THE ORPHAN’ that I just tossed in the wash…Knowing better means that I understand I can’t save the orphan. As a white follower of Christ I can offer a whole lot of hope, security and love, but I don’t save anyone! Doing better means that great fabric will not go to waste as it becomes my new hair towel!
In the past few days I have had a handful of people tell me how blessed they have been by Mike’s posts on Facebook and by the journey we are on. This leads me to believe that there are likely many more of you out there who are following along and not saying much. We are praying for you. We are praying for your journey. We are excited to hear your stories and we look forward to showing up and standing with you when we are invited in! Please, keep reading! Feel free to join the conversation. We are continuing to gather resources, educate ourselves, and getting to know the diversity of voices in our community. You are welcome to join us! Keep your eye out for an invitation to something bigger/ deeper from us in the months to come.