I think we can all agree that brokenness within and between ethnicities exists. We don’t have to get very far in the Scripture narrative to see that! As author Sarah Shin describes in the start of chapter three in Beyond Colorblind, “The first sin of Adam and Eve—the distrust of God and idolatry of something else—drives a high-impact crack into the pottery art of what God intended.”
I’m grateful that we started last week with the beautiful things in our ethnicities and the cultures within them. Otherwise I’m pretty sure I would have just given up! We need both, the gifts that we bring to the table because of the diversity in our world, but also the realization of the areas that need healing.
As I’ve thought about this chapter this week and the different broken responses the author lists, I’ve been struck by the need for humility. I’ll just be honest, I’ve been so frustrated each time I pull up social media and see someone sharing their opinion on one side of the fence or the other about any of the current hot topics. So many are putting themselves up as an expert, causing me to question and, in my own pride, judge their opinion.
A friend and I were recently talking about how conversations have to start with a humble attitude. Are there issues and topics I feel strongly about? Yes, for sure! Do I know everything there is to know? Most definitely not.
I think this same attitude of humility helps prepare our hearts for the conversations about brokenness in our ethnic groups or background.
Shin describes five broken responses to the pain in our ethnicities: idolatry, racial and ethnic division, rejection of ethnicity, defining ourselves by our scars and self-punishment. Was there one of these responses that stuck with you the most? Or one that surprised you?
As cross-cultural workers, we are affected by both the brokenness of our own ethnic background as well as the one we live among. I’m curious what that feels like for you. Is it overwhelming? What do you do with the brokenness coming from different directions?
Personally while on the field, it was easier for me to focus on the scars and hurt in the country I was living in—what was right in front of me—and ignore the pain in and caused by my ethnicity in the US. I’m not sure there’s a right or wrong response, except to keep admitting we live in a broken world and desperately need Jesus to transform and heal. I’m glad those chapters in the book are coming.
I’d love to know what you thought of this chapter and of the book so far! Share your thoughts, experiences and questions in the comments.
You can watch the Intervarsity video that goes with the chapter HERE.
Here’s the schedule for the rest of the book:
October- Part 1
October 27th: Chapters 4 and 5
November- Part 2
November 3: Chapter 6
November 10: Chapters 7 & 8
November 17: Chapter 9
November 24: Chapter 10