Lately I have been thinking about the policies and position of this nation that set us far apart from being “one nation under God '', especially when it comes to our posture towards people of color and the immigrant population. We have seen the prevalence of discrimination and inequality during this pandemic as we are prioritizing businesses over human life and economy over communal health. The proud sheltered American smiles and says "but this is God’s country! We save babies and religious freedom!” yet they fail to see the senselessness in children being caged and immigrants getting sprayed with toxins in detention centers. They turn a blind eye to the abuse of power that has been killing black men and women in their streets and inside their own homes, and fail to study the history that created major setbacks for groups of people living in this country.
All this has led to an undoing in my spirit, identity, and worldview as a Christian and Latina. I am validating the unsteadiness in my soul that senses how far our country's policies and morality are from the nature of who God is. Although I will never be able to grasp the full extent of His nature, I can say what God is not.
God is not quiet in the face of injustice nor is He ignorant of it.
In Spanish, there is a word used to describe the shaking off of dirt, it’s called ‘sacudo’. I can’t help but think this is what the Church in America is experiencing lately as we face this mess of our nation's position towards people and discriminating policy. We are experiencing a shaking off of our internal biases that have made us satisfied with our silence and comfortable in our privilege. In the middle of a revolution and pandemic we are experiencing a sacudo within the condition of our heart as we face systemic sin.
Regardless of our political position and socioeconomic status, as followers of Christ we need to get familiar with the pain of hurting people and the repercussions of a fallen world in order to continue partnering with Christ in the redemptive work He began nearly 2,000 years ago.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness..” (Ephesians 6:12). Racism, greed, and inequality are just some of these powers we must name through this verse that are active in our country and people today. As the Church in America, we need to get familiar in naming them and fighting them if we are to empower and set people free from captivity. The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. (Isaiah 61:1)
If you see some believers active socially and civically in this time, it is not because they have followed a political party but because they fight against these powers that have manifested into our schools, police stations, courthouses, jobs, and corporate America.
A sacudo is much needed in us to shake the core of who we thought we were as 'one nation under God'. It is removing the dirt of our biases, pride, and individualism that we have carried in our hearts and minds. We no longer find the powers of racism, greed, and inequality acceptable and normal in our communities because they are an offense to God and His true nature. Such values ingrained in our American society did not reflect the nature of God when Manifest Destiny was used to religiously justify the killing of indigenous people in this country. We also offended God when racist America used the bible corruptly out of context to justify slavery and segregation, a true distorted theology that the Black community is still suffering from today.
A sacudo removes our impurities so we can reflect a more clear image of who God really is to people. Could it be that all this time, we have deprived others of seeing the true nature of God due to our internal dirt?
With this I leave you with some verses affirming what God feels and says about groups of people...
God Loves the Immigrant
“The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow" (Psalm 146: 9)
"When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for your were foreigners in Egypt..." (Exodus 23:9)
God Affirms the Color of Our Skin
"After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb" (Revelations 7:9-10)
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well" (Psalm 139: 13-14)
God Cares for the Poor
“When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner..."(Leviticus 19: 9-10)
"I know the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy" (Psalm 140:12)
It is time more than ever to press in to the true nature of who God is and what He says about people.
Jesus for Revolutionaries by Dr. Robert Chao Romero is a book that inspired me to write this small blog.
I am grateful for the learning and spiritual insight this book provided for such a time as this.
Contact me if you are interested in receiving a free copy!