#faithbites #faithjourney representation
Fair waiting, this #faithbites has taken me a while to write as I’m been trying to figure out how to write it well. It also comes as part of #BlackHistoryMonth and I wanted to do it justice.
Have you ever been in a situation where you were the only one who looked like you? As a white make, it doesn’t happen very often. I remember being in a Chinese restaurant and I was the only Caucasian around. As an aside, people told me that’s how I could tell it was authentic food. Anyway. I felt a little out of sorts as no one looked like me. Was it a big deal? No. Flashforward, a friend posted on Facebook for people to list when they had their first male African-American or black teacher. I had to think and think and realized, I never had one. I had a female African-American professor in college but that was it. One final example. As a child, I watched a lot of TV. All of the main characters were skinny, handsome, and athletic. It was those characters that “got the girl”, were popular, and successful. Chubby characters, like I was, were the sidekicks or not even noticed. It led me to believe that if I wasn’t skinny, handsome, or athletic, I couldn’t succeed.
Why does it matter? Why does representation matter? If you don’t see someone who looks like you in a position it is hard to see yourself in it. This isn’t say to judge by race over talent, it’s looking at how who is in what position impacts the future.
You may be asking why this matters in a faith-based blog. The answer is clear: We all are made to work together. If one piece isn’t represented or working, then we all suffer.
Today’s questions: Have you ever felt that you weren’t being represented? If so, how did you respond and what impact did it have on you?
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts,[a] yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
For us to be healthy, we need our whole body working together well. If you have a bum knee, your back starts to hurt. Have a bad eye, you may be dizzy. If we don’t have everything working in harmony, then we have troubles. This is where representation matters. We need everyone performing to the best of their abilities with the skills and abilities they have. If someone doesn’t believe they can use their God given gifts because of their race, color, creed, upbringing, or socio-economic status, we do a do a disservice to everyone.
Have you ever been told you can’t go into computers because you are a girl? Or you can’t make it in public office because you are an immigrant? So many times we directly or indirectly cause people to not use their gifts. The biggest one is when they don’t see anyone like them in those positions.
As a servant of God, we need to find ways to help the whole body work together.
As we close, what will you do to make sure that people see representation? How will you support under represented people in your hobby, profession, church, or organization?
Lord Jesus, you made us all in your image with gifts and talents. Often times we stop people form using them because they don’t think they can as they haven’t seen anyone like them do it. Lord, help us to move beyond this and look at ways we can encourage and affirm all people to achieve their dreams.
Father God, when we mess us, we ask for your forgiveness. Help us to be advocates for all of your children. Let us serve you always. In your name, Amen.