My Brother, My Son

Galatians 3:28 (NRSV), “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”

One of the things that I love about the bloggy world is the opportunity to meet people from various walks of life and backgrounds. In the blogosphere, we have a unique opportunity to break down walls, learn about each other, and build bridges. I love the Christian blog family because despite our differences, we are joined together by our life in Jesus Christ. We are all members of the same body—the body of Christ. Since we have this unique opportunity and a powerful bond in Christ Jesus, then it is our responsibility to have the tough conversations to build unity. Today, I want to embark on one of those tough conversations about race.

One of the first things I remember my stepmother teaching my younger brother growing up was to never run in the mall. She told him never to run in the mall because the security guards and the store employees will think you stole something and will “shoot you in the back.” My younger brother is dark-skinned, tall and heavy set. My stepmother was afraid that people would view him as a menace to society or a thug. When he started driving, I heard my parents warn him to never make sudden movements when pulled over by the police and to always let the police know what movements you are making so again, they will not shoot you. When my other brother on my biological mom’s side started driving, I shared this same advice with him. “Do not make any sudden movements and keep your hands on the wheel or they will shoot you.” I stressed this even more when he left for college at Embry Riddle in Daytona Beach, Florida. “Stay on campus. Always carry your ID. Watch your surroundings and be careful because they will not view you as a college student. They will look at you like a thug.”

As I watch the news and hear more stories like Trayvon Martin’s about black boys being killed because they appeared to be threatening or suspicious (Stories are here and here), I am even more compelled to reinforce these warnings to my brothers and eventually share them with my 3-year old son.

Because we are human and influenced by media, culture and the messages we are fed every day, we have stereotypes and preconceived notions about people. These stereotypes can be based on race, gender, sex, class, educational background, sexual orientation, and a host of other factors. However, as sons and daughters of God through Jesus Christ, it is our responsibility to see people as God sees them. We have to look at people through spiritual eyes. Remember, although we look at the outside appearance, God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). If we’re in Christ Jesus, then we are one. We are brothers and sisters. That’s the amazing thing about God.

Again, we have an awesome and unique opportunity through the bloggy world to learn about each other and to build bridges. There is more that unites us than separates us. I want to use this post to introduce you to some of the black boys and men in my life, and hopefully, it will serve as a reminder for all of us not to look at the outside appearance of a person, but to look at the heart.

JonathanJonathan – Student at Embry Riddle studying aeronautical engineering, loves playing the guitar, loves singing, a great son, uncle, my brother

 

 

 

AdamAdam – Loves the Lord, college educated, Musical Director for artists such as Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, Rhianna, Adam Levine, a great husband, uncle, my brother

 

 

CaydenCayden – Very energetic 6 year old, loves people and making new friends, loves acting, my nephew

 

 

 

Kent BowlingKent – Rambunctious soon-to-be 3 year old, loves his baby sister, loves to sing, play drums and piano, loves to go to church, he’s my son

 

 

 

 

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