Day 76 was the day our small town held a protest for Black Lives Matter. My heart has been so broken over the murder of George Floyd. I grew up in a part of Portland, Oregon that was ripped apart by the protests and riots of the 60's. We were not even allowed to go outside and play most days. But I was pretty young and did not fully comprehend just what was going on. I went to a school that was predominantly African American. As a child, skin color was never something I gave any thought too. Many of my closest friends growing up were Black. Of course they should be treated as equals. To do otherwise never even crossed my mind.
Many things changed because of those years, but we as a country still have a long way to go. I have never had to worry about being pulled over because of the color of my skin. I have never had people cross the street when they approached me because they feared me for my skin color. I have never had the police called on me while I was out birding or shopping or walking the neighborhood.
Yes, I believe all lives matter-of course they do-but right now we do need to focus on the fact that Black Lives Matter. My son put it this way: If you were heading down a block of houses on your way to fix a plumbing problem and another house on that street caught fire what would you do? Would you proceed to your plumbing job or would drop everything to help those whose house was on fire. All of the houses on that block are important but one is in very dire need at that moment. There is a house on fire in our neighborhood right now and it happens to belong to our African American community. They need us to step up; to step in; to hear their voices of anguish, frustration, fear, and yes, even anger. We need to stop and listen and then we need to work together towards a solution.
Just a few short weeks ago it was Mother's Day and I designed this block to celebrate.
My mother's heart has been grieved this past week. Grieved for a mother who will not ever get to see her son again, never to hear his voice. I cannot even begin to imagine her grief. And there are so many more mothers out there who know that pain all too well. So on Sunday I designed a new block. I wanted it to represent the broken and bleeding heart of our Black community. Block 76 I have named Black Lives Matter.
Like many I feel I am fumbling my way through this time. I have had a lot to learn about what it still means to be Black in this country-the Land of the Free. I have spent time listening and reading their stories and I have cried many tears over what I have learned. Maybe I am being naive here, but I think that change has to start within the heart of each one of us. We have to be willing to look deep within and root out our stereotypes and misconceptions. We have to be willing to love one another as Christ has loved us. To be willing to lay down our lives for another. To stand up for the poor and oppressed, the widows and the orphans. To seek justice, mercy and grace for all. To work towards peace. There are a couple of books that have had a huge impact on me in the past couple of years as I have sought to gain understanding. One is Under our Skin by Benjamin Watson the other is Just Mercy by Bryan Stephenson. Just Mercy was also made into a movie and it is available to rent for free on Amazon right now. The book is so much more impactful though so while the movie is good the book is a must read.
I don't write posts like this very often-actually I cannot really think of another one like it. Some of the days we are passing through right now just demand that I do more than simply share a pretty block with you. Some of the days we are passing through need to be addressed in a serious way and this is one of those days.
For a pdf pattern of this block click HERE.
At times like this I simply want to wish you peace and love and a better tomorrow.
Welcome to the site of Debra Davis-a woman who loves the Lord and loves to quilt.
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My other blog where I share about my walk of faith:
Sitting at His Feet
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