I. Am. Scared. It is so easy to run to these three words, to tuck your tail in-between your legs and cower behind or from the seemingly impossible. Especially when the seemingly impossible is racism, and not the racism spoken of in the ‘haven’ of our history books, but the racism occurring in our hometowns—in our neighborhoods. Being a twenty-two-year-old black woman I have experienced racism and have had my share of talks concerning the this and that of racism: African-American men and boys being killed; what to do and say when pulled over by those meant to serve and protect; the injustices of policeman not being persecuted for murder; which race is the ‘true’ victim or perpetrator in today’s act of violence; who is wrong and who is right. Yet, in these talks and experiences what I unquestionably hear is I am scared. I am scared of something that is different. I am scared to stand up for what is right, what is just. I am scared to be placed in a position where I fear for my life. Son, I am scared for you to walk outside because of the color of your skin. Whether the “I am scared” comes from self-righteous fear or justified fear, it is both obstructive and dangerous. With self-righteous fear, we confine ourselves in a box that says, we aren’t capable to love what is different—a difference in melanin—and we use such fear to strike out what we do not want to accept. With the justified fear, it can easily be turned into unjustified hate and bitterness and into a life of unrest. Thus, confining us ourselves in an area in life where we can no longer live our lives out in peace nor in love. But, with all that has been written, there is only one who can eliminate the “I am scared”, and that is Jesus. Where it is so easy to run to the three words of fear, it is also that easy to run to the healer and eliminator of all fear and the baggage which comes with fear. There have been moments where I was scared, but I pushed the fear aside with the knowledge that Jesus is the liberator of fear and of the I am scared moments; and in return, Jesus gives me love for those who cause the fear. Where I have said those three words: I. Am. Scared. Jesus responded with: I. Am. Peace; I. Am. Love.
Thanks and a special shout out to RadicallyCarolyn blog for inviting me to guest write this piece on her page. Check out her page!