Resurrection Someday

Nathan Stanton has spent the last 10 years as a pastor, church planter and artist on the West, South and Northsides of Chicago, and is an Interfaith America Racial Equity Media Fellow 

 

We shall overcome

We shall overcome

We shall overcome someday

 

Deep in my heart

I do believe

We shall overcome someday

 

(Lyrics derived from Charles Tindley's gospel song "I'll Overcome Some Day" (1900))

 

Songs like this remind me of the inevitability of freedom. I am convinced that it is somewhere on the horizon. Never mind the fact that we are spinning 15 seconds per hour held together by the powerfully fragile laws of nature. This Gordian knot cannot be untied by the instinctual passage of time. For generally men are lazy and prone to leave things as they are. There is no consensus that black people NEED freedom from anything therefore in many ways we have not even begun. Yet here we remain solid in our misunderstandings of each other and each hiding their hand from the pot of generous mutuality.

I noticed this year the Christian holiday Easter or Resurrection Sunday fell on the same day Martin Luther King was assassinated on April 4th. What people outside of the black community don’t realize is when an innocent life is lost it connects us immediately to the trauma of the past. We have had many of our brightest snuffed out simply by white supremacy and the conversation continues to happen if it really exists. Even criticism of Critical Race Theory has taken off among evangelicals in recent years. This is the problem. To Black Lives Matter it is All Lives Matter. To George Floyd it is, “but he was a drug addict and criminal”. To Breonna Taylor it is “she was not the most morally upstanding. To Sandra Bland “well she resisted”. The problem is there is a response. Responding to black pain with an argument represents the absence of empathy. No one argues with the persecution of many other people groups, countering it is even morally egregious. There is a moment where we become inhumane in our defense of the indefensible. Exposure of our history must happen for us to heal. The rising of our collective conscience must appeal to us, in some way.

There is nothing inevitable without action. The unmitigated usefulness of healing has not unequivocally proved itself to many of the power structure. The cost benefit analysis of freedom from the prison industrial complex and the ghettos of America has not been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt. So here we are standing in the shadow of a resurrection wondering when someday will be. The truth is this now will not be untangled by the Lord or by fate but by the simplicity that encompasses humility. The cut is love and the blade is the opposite of hubris. The complexity of the “race problem” affects us all whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, racism is the mortar for this building. Holding the oppressor and the oppressed hostage for truly we are connected. Even the prosperity of the ruling class cannot negate the state of our collective soul. We are gently hurtling through this space vacuum toward the painful culmination of our unacknowledged transgressions.

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The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.