Dear Me,

Dear Me,

It’s going to be ok. The world is a messy place for a black man—it’s always been that way. Everywhere you turn, someone is being mistreated because of their skin. It’s like unjust murders keep popping up on your phone, one after another, and someone is always justifying it. It’s overwhelming. I get it. I get what you are going through. 

You feel helpless because you don’t know how to help. You feel that what you do won’t make a difference or doesn’t matter—it does. Don’t let your anger take over your heart. Don’t let it make you numb to the issues that move God’s heart. You will feel scared. I get it. Because it’s not just your world anymore—you now share it with your son. The thought that he could be mistaken for a threat, or mistreated because of how he looks keeps you up at night. Tossing and turning, wondering how you can make this world a better place for Carter. 

I know you are hurting right now. You feel betrayed by those you thought would never think the way they do. By the people you thought had your back. The people you thought were family. You feel lost. Not knowing what is next for your future. Thinking to yourself, 

“Where do I go from here?”

“How do I lead my household?”  

I know what you are going through. It’s rough. It doesn’t seem like it’s getting any better anytime soon—but remain strong. What you are doing matters. Even if it’s just one person, it matters. Keep speaking up. Holding people accountable. Just make sure you always do it with love! Trust in the Lord. Keep your focus on Him. Don’t worry about tomorrow. His plans for your life are greater than anything you can imagine. Don’t give up on God, even when it seems like the easier thing to do. 

Always try to see people the way Jesus sees them, no matter what they look like. Remember, not all white people are racist. Not all police are bad. Don’t let the media convince you otherwise.   Don’t put people in that box that you wouldn’t want to be put in. Hold on to hope. It’s your light in this dark world. So what if those people aren’t walking with you on this journey. Maybe they weren’t meant to. Love them like Christ loved the church, even when it’s hard. 

Remember that it’s ok to be uncomfortable. If you are comfortable, are you really following Christ? There is so much good in this world—don’t let it get outweighed by all the bad. Keep being who your family needs you to be and what the Bible calls you to be. 

Stay strong.  

Love, You

Hear My [Black] Heart

My heart is to see the world come together! If you know me, you know I am not a negative person. I believe in the teachings of Jesus. I believe the Bible to be 100% truth! I can’t lie and say that it’s not a struggle to be a black Christ follower in America. I know some of you read that and thought, “why does he have to bring color in to it? Why can’t he just be a Christian?” Unfortunately, that isn’t how the world sees me. 
I’ve been genuinely shocked by the amount of Christians who are uncomfortable talking about issues of race. ‘We are all created equal under God’ seems to be a repetitive tone in the Bible ,but it is missed(ignored) by so many. I have been approached by Christians who tell me I shouldn’t talk about certain topics. That how I am saying things is too harsh. I get praise from people of color but also I come off as unrealistic when I say things like “my hope is in Him”—and if I’m honest I feel torn.  
I feel like the world is making me choose between being black or being a “Christian” (in the sense of religious standards and guidelines we have in the American church). If I speak out on the problems that go against the church than I’m viewed as an enemy. Why? Because it’s uncomfortable? Why do we (the church) feel like we can talk about certain aspects of the Bible, but block out the rest? We remember the commandments, the do’s and don’ts of our faith, but we somehow leave out the most important commandment anytime it’s tough—love. It goes out the window when something happens that we don’t agree with. When the first reaction from people is to justify the killings of People of Color instead of praying for the families, that’s not love. How can we truly love someone if we aren’t willing to learn from them? To speak their language? To get into their worlds? 

As I scroll through my timelines I can’t help but to wonder, if my name became a hashtag would these people do the same? If my son was out being a kid and something happened to him would they blame it on him? I’ve had white people close to me not care because they think it could never happen to me (because they see me as ‘different’ or ‘not like other black people’). When they see the mistreatment, the killing, the injustice towards people of color it doesn’t phase them, because it’s only a stranger, and it’s not a reality that affects them. Me, I see my father, my brother, my uncle. I see a friend. I see my sister. I see ME! It breaks my heart to see Christians dig up a criminal past when we have been forgiven. To see the Bible being used like Chex mix instead of in it’s entirety. How can we grow if we don’t confront our issues? Especially if the goal is to win people over. How can we do that while pushing people away? We need to stand with arms open wide! Say “I may not understand why you are hurt, but I see that you are hurt and I am here for you!” No matter what race, religion, political stance, sexual background, etc! We have to be willing to love our neighbor, even when it hurts.

Why am I writing this? I want people to know who I am. I am not divisive. I’m not a hateful person. I’m not confrontational. I love the church. I want solidarity. I want a better world for my son!

I am also writing this because over the past couple months I have been asked if I’m ok. People call and check up on me because of my posts about racial injustice. The truth is, I’m caught in the middle. I’m hurting. I’m confused. Worried. Disappointed. But, I still have hope. I still feel love for those that don’t understand. I still believe in the promises of Jesus. I guess you can say I’m on the corner of conviction and compassion, which is exactly where I want to be. 

Thank you for your time. Let’s connect!!

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Twitter: @iamwillmaxwell