The events that have transpired in our country this year have sparked a righteous outcry. For many, this has served as an awakening of the harsh tragedies and realities that are still rampant in America. For others, it is confirmation of the pre-existing injustices and biases they have known to be true.
This is a disturbing time for all of us, but God has called you and I for such a time as this. Let’s be clear—this is a spiritual war. As Ephesians 6:12 states, we are not fighting flesh and blood. Our enemy is not any government official, race of people, or organization. Our enemy is Satan! This nation is hurting, and the body of Christ has been charged to engage in a spiritual battle to fight the enemy in our land—the spirit of racism and division.
Consider these practical steps to help promote unity:
1. Attend a worship service with someone from a different culture. Listen to a variety of worship music, preaching/teaching styles, and experience God in different ways. We serve a big God and he transcends culture!
2. Invite someone who doesn’t look like you out for lunch or to your home for dinner. Sit down and ask them to share their heart. Don’t take it personally. Allow them to vent and be heard. Then ask them to listen to your heart in return.
3. Minister to the “least of these.” As nurses, we often minister to the sick. I challenge you to expand your reach—seek out the fatherless, the widow, the homeless, the imprisoned. Jesus tells us in Matthew 25:40 that in doing this, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers or sisters, you did for me.’”
4. Teach your children to openly accept and embrace people of all races and ethnicities. Lead by example. Ask your children to be intentional about learning from people who don’t look like them. As a Black woman, I learned to speak Russian from my childhood best friend.
5. At the dinner table, have an open dialogue with your family. What do they know about people from other cultures? What do they think about people who don’t look like them?
6. Don’t use words in private that you wouldn’t use publicly to describe people.
7. Better yet, don’t allow those around you to use offensive language. Check them—even it it’s your mama! Racism is taught and often is generational. We have certain perspectives from our parents and unknowingly pass them on to our children. If we condone discriminatory rhetoric by listening and engaging, then we, too, are partaking in sin.
8. Watch or read a documentary and educate yourself about the plight of Black people and other people of color in America. “13th” on Netflix is a great film that highlights racial injustices in this country.
9. Do not be quick to judge. Prejudice is the root of racism. Do a heart check-- what biases have crept into your thought life? Do you lock your car doors when certain people walk by? How would you feel if your child married someone of a different skin color? How do others in your family feel about this? If we are ever going to be effective, we must call out and confront this behavior.
To read more from NCF on racial injustice, check out the recent blog post, "Nurses and Racism: Let's Talk!"
Alesha Logan, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, is a family nurse practitioner and assistant professor in the school of nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University. This article originally appeared in the university’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion Newsletter and is shared with the author’s permission.