I’m walking towards Madison House. A man is sitting on a bicycle; ragged clothing, long hair, dirty red hat.
He looks beat, mid-twenties, angry.
As I close the distance, he spots me and starts to pedal in my direction but refuses to make eye contact.
“Hey,” I say, “How are you? Is there something I can help you with?”
He’s right up on me now and acts like he can’t hear me.
“Hey,” I say, giving him the benefit of the doubt. “How are you?”
“F**K YOU, YOU MOTHER F***KING PIECE OF WHITE TRASH, MOTHER F**CKER!
I don’t hesitate.
“Hey man, I have no problem with you. I don’t even know you. Jesus loves you,”
He’s past me now.
“Come back and let me talk to you about Jesus.”
He is screaming now as he rides away and is having trouble controlling his bike he is so angry, “F**K Jesus and F**k you! I don’t need Jesus you white trash MOTHERF**CKER!”
I try again to tell him about Jesus but it’s no use as he rides away continuing to scream about how much he hates me and hates Jesus.
I pray that I will have another opportunity to talk to him about Jesus.
Two days later I’m standing out on my back porch when he rides by on his bicycle.
“Hi, How’s it going?” He looks up at me and nearly falls off his bike in shock. Then he ducks his head, says, “Hi” and pedals off as fast as he can, eyes set, jaw rigid. I shrug, I tried. I guess he didn’t know that I live so close to where I work.
The next day I’m walking down a side street and suddenly he rides out of the alley, nearly bowling me over. He sees me first and his eyes get big and round.
I smile at him and wave, “Oh, hi!” I say, “How are you doing?”
He slumps, then sighs and says, “Good, how are you?”
“I’m great! Good to see you again.”
“Yeah, you too.” He rides away.
That was two years ago and I’ve never seen him since. Most importantly he knows I care about him and that I love Jesus.
I could go into story after story of racism that I’ve seen in my life both to myself, my wife and kids and to other people, but it would probably only serve to make you angry depending on your point of view.
Where does the hate end? I don’t know, but I do know that no matter how much others hate me based off of one single sliver of DNA that determines the melanoma of my skin color, it isn’t enough to discourage me.
Instead, lets steer the conversation back towards the gospel.
The truth is, “Jesus Christ came into the world, and died for the sins of the whole world.” Every person of every tongue and nation.
You know it. You’ve known it your whole life. Say it with me, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.
Did you hear yourself say that? “The world.” God’s love is not exclusive to a race or color – you are.
We are all God’s creation. His love is an equal opportunity employer; all it requires is our repentance.
All of us have endured racism to larger or lesser extremes in our lifetime, but as the Bible states, we are “without excuse” when it comes to loving others and sharing the gospel.
It’s so easy to feel sorry for ourselves and focus on the negative, but if you really sit down and think about it you’ll also be able to come up with hundreds if not thousands of times that someone of a different race has reached out to help you when you were in need.
I know I can.
Jesus Christ said, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel.”
The Gospel by definition is, “Good News.”
And the ‘Good News’ is that, “the Light has come into the world and the darkness cannot stand against it.”
Jesus Christ is the Light of the world and he died once for ALL.
Who have you shared this truth with today?