Bridging the Racial Divide With a Simple Question

It is overwhelming.
What can I do to help with such huge issues? How can I help anything? 
One of our Elders, Donald Watkins weighs in on a single, simple question that matters. Thanks Donald.

New City Elders, Donald Watkins and Greg Wood

New City Elders, Donald Watkins and Greg Wood

This is the first blog that I have written. I wish that my first blog was written under different circumstances. Although I am still trying to process everything in the wake of what has been happening in the past couple of weeks, I find it necessary to weigh in on the issue. I believe that in order to begin the healing process, the right question must be asked and answered. Although there are many questions that can be asked, there is one fundamental question that must be asked and answered. And the question must be asked by my white brothers and sisters and must be answered by African American brothers and sisters. In light of our current series in the book of Nehemiah, he asked one fundamental question. It is found in Nehemiah 1:1-2. It reads:
The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. It came to pass in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the citadel, 2. That Hanani of my brethren came with men from Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped. Who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

The situation in Jerusalem was not good. The city was in ruins and the walls were broken down. The broken down walls illustrate the brokenness all around us in our country.  Broken government, broken families, and yes, broken churches. We are all broken in many ways. And when I said all, I mean all -- blacks, whites, and everybody in between.

The main question that Nehemiah asked the men who came to him was:  “How are my people doing?”  This is precisely the question that must be asked by my white brothers and sisters. “How are you doing?” By asking this one question, it does several things. First, it shows that you have genuine concern about what African Americans are feeling. Secondly, it shows that you want to be part of the solution. Not asking that question communicates an indifference towards the plight of African Americans. Don’t fear not having the answers by asking the question. We are not necessarily asking you to fix the problems. We are asking that a dialogue begin so that we can all work together to help make a difference to the glory of God. Jesus Christ is the solution for the ills that plague our world. It is through the gospel that we find hope.

In our MC (Missional Community) my wife and I shared our feelings and the concerns we have. I think it was helpful for our white brothers and sisters to hear our hearts in this matter. So be like Nehemiah and ask the question, “How are you doing?” I believe then the process of healing and reconciliation can start.