Letter to Ola #2

Dear Olaedo,


On wokeness


As you know, there are two sets of people on social media: the woke and the unwoke. I think you consider yourself woke which is beautiful. Examining cultural beliefs and societal inclinations is the only way to discover the truth and live by it. Considering that the world is constantly changing, being current with trends may even determine your relevance in the society.


The unwoke will likely want to shame you with empty words that suggest you are copying westerners and you should stay true to your roots. Imagine if Jesus stuck to culture, obliged the Pharisees and denied grace for works. However, you shouldn’t follow trends. The trend already set for us is forever relevant. Apply it and see.


I got carried away some time ago with worldly philosophies. When I found myself in difficult situations, I thought about what someone I respect on social media would do, not what Christ would do. When those philosophies drowned me instead of saving me, I ran back to Christ.


I prayed for a thorough purge; that the worldly wisdom I had unconsciously imbibed and the old, false knowledge I grew up with be wiped from my heart. I asked for light to flood my heart and make me new.


I don’t think you must have an opinion on every trending issue. If you do, then you must have enough information on the issue to back up your opinion. Be empathetic enough to consider perspectives. There are things you don’t understand. Say little or nothing on those things.


The only time you should speak boldly is when it concerns the gospel and when the matter borders on love.


Love can never go wrong.


The baseline solution to all trending matters from politics and economy to racism and feminism is love.


Self-awareness makes you more empathetic and less judgmental so don’t use it as an excuse to be self-absorbed. There is a thin line between the two. Pray for discernment to act accordingly.


Whether you use labels or not is not important. It’s your choice. For instance, you don’t hate being addressed as a Christian because some Christians believe it’s works that save while others believe it’s a mix of works and grace. I feel ownership of identity is important whether there is a label or not.


However, you are first a Christian, every other thing is secondary.


You’ll make mistakes and that’s fine. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Sometimes your understanding is limited by experience, exposure, and just the mere fact that you are human. In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your path.

With Love,
Mama

– ChyD
© 2020

RACIAL RECONCILIATION: OUSTING RACISM WITH LOVE

” God created the human race, humans created racism.” -Jane Elliot

Racism. We all are somewhat scared of and responsible for this word. An upsurge in protests snowballing across many countries in the wake of George Floyd’s murder is shaming racism and racists. Topics that were once sacrosanct are now public discussions. The world is waking up to the damaging effects of institutionalized and systemic racism that has plagued “minority races” for decades. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, activists and protesters are stamping their feet down, pumping their fists in the air demanding equality for all races. These measures are certainly drawing attention to the issue but unless conscious steps are taken by every individual, it “may” be a waste of time. We may not be responsible for racism but we sure do have our work cut out in achieving its deconstruction.

Living in imperfect societies as Christians compels us to do the one thing we’ve been called to do – Love. The famous one-liner, “if you can’t beat them, join them” isn’t a Christian mantra, but rather debunking it is what we are called to do. We can’t stand up to racism by inciting hatred or shrinking into our holes but by loving people of all ethnicity and language like Christ did, unconditionally. Mike Todd in his sermon on racial reconciliation expatiates on a commandment God gave us; “love your neighbour – not your black neighbour, or white neighbour, or affluent neighbour”. The knowledge that in Christ, there are no divisions based on race or ethnicity would be more effective if it were truly practiced rather than stated.

Prejudice, discrimination, structural and institutionalized injustice can be demolished with racial reconciliation which upholds love, tolerance, inclusion and respect as its tenets. Recognizing the problem and actually believing it is a problem is a good place to starting the journey of racial reconciliation. We ought to have a level of self awareness rather than feign ignorance on the issue, only then will we see it as a social problem that needs to be tackled.

Racial reconciliation is not just the sermons but the conscious and consistent love for people, not because of the colour of their skin but because they are human. Love encompasses everything we need to fight racism. There is beauty in diversity, I mean the world will be so bland if everything existed in one shade. Accepting and embracing this draws us closer to the fulfilment of the revelation John had when he saw people of all race, language, nation and tribe worshipping God in harmony.

Reconciling races is possible when we’ve been reconciled to ourselves. No race is inferior to the other, therefore you are not inferior, the spirit in you is not the spirit of fear but of love and that eliminates all fear. We are all worthy of respect and equality and because this decades-long monster has eaten deep into our societies and institutions does not imply we have to settle for and expect less. We are to celebrate our ethnic identity and uniqueness, whether we be African, European, Asian, American, Australian, Biracial, Multiracial, we are God’s ingenious handiwork. We love God and by transforming into His image, we become love and in turn, we love others.

Self-examination reveals who we inherently are. There are social, religious and institutionalized constructs and biases inculcated in us from our childhood which may be discriminatory, this can unconsciously lead us to perpetrate the myths and stereotypes we grew up feeling were normal. Racial reconciliation means evaluating our beliefs and theories about people different from us and ultimately deconstructing the prejudiced, bigoted ones.

The one way racism can be ousted is through love, the God kind – agape. Sure activism raises awareness but treating everyone equally starts from an individual making the choice to love. And how best can we love except we have love in us? There is one who loved us all so much He gave His life for us and if we let Him in, then we too can love effortlessly, regardless of who it is, White, black, brown, red.

In a world where hatred and strife is growing, may we choose to be symbols of love.

IfiokAbasi Okop and Steven Kator Iorfa. ©2020

She Said No

She said NO,
He only wanted to have a degree to show,
But because of your presumed strength and power,
You took them down both in less than an hour.

You took Her innocence,
Without her consent,
Blamed it on her dress,
And your Mental illness.

You took his mama Pride,
Left him with no choice to decide,
Said he was black,
And his skin was dark.

To the rapist and racist,
You ain’t different from the terrorists,
They take peace with bombs and guns,
You take the innocence of our daughters and sons.

One day you will appear before the GROOM,
Give account of all those you made live in gloom.
How you killed the ones He created,
Just because of your lust and hatred.

By Lekesax
©2020