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  • Kirsten Lavin

Lenten Reflection: First Sunday in Lent

Psalm 25:5

Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; in you have I trusted all the day long.

Truth and teach. These are strong words, and words that previously I thought I exemplified. I thought I knew the truth about race in this country. I was aware of economic and social policies that discriminate against our Black and Brown sisters and brothers, and those that are less fortunate. I thought I was teaching my children to see these inequities and follow our Lord’s path to love our neighbor and help those in need. But my truth and teaching has been questioned through the Sacred Ground Circle in fundamental ways. I had no idea that the truth and teaching I thought I knew, was just glancing over the surface and leaving out key facts and voices that have now been brought to light.

I have learned the true history of our country in new and profound ways that have left me disgusted and heartbroken. I look at our present-day challenges with eyes wide open – to the everyday injustices inflicted upon on individuals of color, to the larger scale systemic racism that is now so evident in America. How could I be a college-educated person, a wife, mother, and pupil of God, and never have been taught these truths?

Once I got over the shock inherent with learning these truths, I asked God to help teach me. The passages and stories we digested over the last few months were not easy, and some weeks I felt the stressors of the world could not allow my heart to absorb any more bad news. But our group kept me inspired and engaged, and helped me to trust in the process.

I’ve learned so much and I now see my own actions and privilege in new ways. I continue to struggle with the small acts of unconscious bias that I have inadvertently subjected upon my Black and Brown colleagues and friends – assuming he was a coordinator instead of a director, asking her too much about hair products, or finding myself surprised that the starring roles were filled by Black actors in the Bridgerton series. I am still struggling with larger inequities thrust upon communities of color – the disproportionate effect of COVID-19, the lack of a living wage, and systemic voter suppression.

But I remain hopeful and am putting my trust in God. In the words of Howard Thurman, that we read at the close of each Sacred Ground meeting:

“Take the chaos and confusion and disorder of our minds and spirits and hold them so completely in Your grasp that the impure thing will become pure, the crooked thing will become straight, and the crass and hard thing will be gentled by Your spirit. “

-Kirsten Lavin

What chaos, confusion or disorder are you experiencing as it relates to race or injustice? Offer them to God in prayer.

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