Stay in your Lane.
This was the phrase rattling around in my brain as we drove away from our lunch with Cornelius. The phrase comforted me, reminded me we are part of something much bigger than ourselves and this trip.
Our paths crossed with Cornelius this past week during our time in Savannah, GA because his heart longs for the same thing our hearts long for. Reconciliation.
But sitting down to discuss how we arrive there was quite an adventure for the three of us.
As two white people from the Bible belt with an extremely red voting history, we have a specific role to play in the work of bringing unity to America.
Among the things we’ve discovered are not our role is preaching the power of forgiveness.
This became clear following the “boot on the neck” comment from the African American community leader Dave spoke with in Savannah. And it makes sense.
Dave and I have no business getting on the ground to tell the person with the boot on their neck that now is the time to forgive. And as it turns out, that is actually Cornelius’s passion. This is a big part of his role to play in bringing unity to America. And boy is he doing it.
Cornelius is passionate about forgiveness, about its ability to heal and empower the forgiver even more than the one being forgiven.
We are passionate about forgiveness too, but we are more passionate about the issue of the boot. And specifically becoming a voice in the act of removing it.
We don’t hold political office or have a ton of money to throw at the boot, but we certainly have a voice, especially since our skin color matches that of the one who has always traditionally been wearing the boot.
And this goes back to the reality that it is in fact difficult, if not down right impossible to be reconciled to someone who has their boot on your neck. Why? Because reconciliation is a two way street.
Forgiveness can happen even with the boot. It’s supernatural if it happens, but it can because forgiveness is not dependent on the one wearing the boot. Reconciliation on the other hand, is.
Unity is not a simple thing. And the road we must take to get there has many lanes.
As we travel and learn and stick our foot in our mouths over and over, we are slowly learning the art of knowing and staying in our lane, where we can work best to partner with the many, many others who believe this dream is possible. This crazy dream that we as a nation could be one.