The air had a chill about it, but more than 200 people of varying races joined together this past Monday to walk the streets of Flint and join hands in prayer. Our youth group was among them. We prayed for God’s work in our government, jails, school and churches. We prayed for those who are hurting, down and struggling financially. We joined hands — black hands with white — in a unifying cry to God for wisdom, boldness and the strength to follow Him wholeheartedly.
Many times we talk of unity and love, but seldom do we exemplify it. I grew up in an area where the towns were racially diverse, but most certainly not mixed. There were white sections and black sections and Hispanic sections. A person dare not cross from one side to the other. It wasn’t due to some violent act that would befall the offender, but due to the cultural norms and how one would be looked down upon for a deed such as this. I heard few claim they were racist, but the types of jokes, language and isolation told a different story. I even had a teacher who was unapologetically racist. Those views and cultural norms flow down through the generations; views and norms that I desire to stop with me. This is why I purposed to take an all-white youth group to and all-black gathering on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It is an invaluable lesson taught before my time that “people … not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.).