We're thinking about having a baby. We're not nursery-painting or buying monogrammed burp cloths or anything. We did rescue a friendly, abandoned puppy as a first step in practicing consistent responsibility.
Thinking about having a baby made us all reflective and philosophical about the world in which we would bring the baby. Will our baby thrive where we are? What are the ideal surroundings for raising our boy or girl? How can we make sure our child grows up to be a multi-lingual, multi-millionaire, model/singer/astrophysicist/Nobel prize/Grammy winner who loves the Lord and cares for us in our old age?
We started thinking about how the community would treat our baby, who would be biracial.
Then we grew wistful and sad and just started to talk about what to have for dinner, because we wondered where we belonged in this world.
When I came to Dallas from New York City, I went looking for a church, and quickly realized that I would have to choose whether I'd go to a predominantly white church or a predominantly black church. My heart aches when I think about how downright congenial and squeaky-clean segregation can appear at times in our evangelical communities, whether inside or outside of church.
Having to choose which part of me (skin or soul) should be reflected in the church that I attended just seemed to sell everyone short.
To add insult to injury, I have also been to churches with brothers and sisters who have given me such a cold reception because of the color of my skin that I doubt I'd ever visit again. At times, I have seen more loving unity in my "heathen" hometown than in the buckle of the Bible belt.
John 17:20-23 says:[bible]John 17:20-23[/bible]
I love to reflect on the concept of Jesus praying that prayer not only for the disciples that were present with him, but also for believers today. Our oneness bears witness to the truth that Jesus was sent by the Father. Our unity is a real-life example that God loves us. We make the gospel illegitimate when we choose comfort over the practicing the presence of the entire spectrum of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Dallas has a rich heritage of Christian education and ethics, megachurches and megaministries, but is the Christian community of Dallas one?
Can I raise my baby here?
By God's unifying power, and the love of our community, yes.
You got to do what you should
With each other
But were not the same
We get to carry each other
Carry each other
(Italicized lyrics from U2's One)