I've heard a few stories about long walks lately. They've been the kinds of stories that make me proud to be part of a long line of walkers.
Then I remembered this movie. The Long Walk Home. I used to show it to my American Literature students back in the day when I was a teacher in Indianapolis. In my humble opinion, every 16- and 17-year-old should be invited to have a conversation that this movie easily starts.
We'd watch the movie after we'd read Alan Patton's Cry, the Beloved Country. If I could have figured out how to cram it in without neglecting others important discussions of life and literature, I would have added Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird to the mix as well.
At the age of 17 I would not have considered myself racist. Does anyone? I suppose there are some who do so with pride. And truth be told, I was probably more ignorant than anything.
Today, more than 25 years later, I have a long ways to go before I'll say that I see people the way God sees them -- but He has, by his grace, walked me many miles in that direction. I'm thinking about these things more and more because of a new opportunity I have to participate in moving Wycliffe USA toward greater diversity. Ethnic. Gender. Age.
This new thing in my life is driving me to introspection and contemplation. I will likely be asking people to change their actions and attitudes and assumptions around this issue - that means I have to be willing to do the same. Lord, let it be so.