Thursday, March 8, 2018

Bold Forgiveness

We are doing our best around this camp to try and raise some FIERCE and BOLD warriors for righteousness.

We spend a lot of time talking to the goofballs about standing up for whats right - recognizing wrongs - leaning on His discernment - and being quick to stand for others in need.

I pray a lot for the goofballs - that this gets rooted in their hearts - and that they become quick to recognize wrongs and quick to stand in defense of others who need it.

I almost always think about it in terms of helping others... not themselves.

That's why I was so proud of Meron when i got the call Monday afternoon from Laura after she had picked up the kids.

The long and short of it was this... a kid - in anger - had made some disparaging remarks about Meron in regards to her skin color.

But Meron has GOOD FRIENDS and not only did they recognize it as wrong - they told Meron about it and encouraged her and stood behind her when she went to an adult to report what had been said.

That's when Meron got another chance to discern wrong and stand up for it. The adult she told dismissed it and told her "he wasn't meaning it to be offensive."

WAIT... WHAT???!

Meron knew it was wrong... and so did we.

Back to the phone call... I shut my computer immediately - told Laura - who was driving at the moment - to turn around and meet me at the administration office.

Within 15 minutes our whole crew was in there backing Meron, explaining the offense and seeking some sort of resolution.

The leaders there agreed with us and assured us it would be addressed the very next day.

We trusted them... and waited to see how that went down.

While we absolutely believe in being bold advocates for what is right - we believe as strongly in being full of forgiveness when somebody recognizes the wrong and comes from a heartfelt place of apology and wanting to be better.

After work Tuesday - I got the breakdown of how the administration addressed this and worked towards resolution.

By the end of the day - the young boy who had said the disparaging remarks had apologized through tears to Meron and even wrote her a letter saying how sorry he was.

"To Meron:

I'm super sorry for being mean to you yesterday, so I wanted to write you an apology letter.

Sorry. I hope this makes it up to you."
He included a picture he had drawn of her and him.

I thought it was a truly genuine apology.

And if i was proud of Meron for being bold the day before - I was bursting at the seams with what the Principal told us.

"He barely even had the apology out of his mouth and Meron said:
'I forgive you.'"

My girl. THAT is also what we want to be as a family.. and it isn't always easy.

And then... the adult who had been dismissive had an amazing response.

They humbled themselves to take a real look at why they reacted how they did and came face to face with some harsh realities about awareness and understanding. They also sent us the most kind and sincere email seeking forgiveness - and of course we forgive them.

One of the strongest things they shared with us was this:
"I am so grateful to have been able to use this situation as a learning experience for me as a teacher and as a human being, as well!"
Wow. We LOVED this person very much before all of this and this amazing display of humility and love has only increased our love.

Here's the deal... RACISM STILL SUCKS. It always will.

And I think some people might think we are too vocal about race issues in America... to those folks I say "hush your face."

Because from intentional blackface wearing church elders to naively dismissive children influencers - it is everywhere - and we will NEVER stop being vocal about it. I will ALWAYS shout about it.

Our only goal is honor and glorify God while we're running this race on earth - and sometimes that means wading in to the rougher, tougher areas.

If we hadn't been willing... if Meron hadn't been bold enough to speak and our crew hadn't been strong enough to step up in grace and faith - we would have never gotten to experience the joy of the second day!

Yes... racism sucks. If ya see it, hear it or experience it... SAY SOMETHING. Address it.

And ya might end up with a success story like this!

Stay bold and stay forgiving Meron!

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