Even though I have learned a lot since my sweet son, Noah Alexander, came into this world a bit earlier than expected back on November 20, I still have no idea what I’m doing. Noah weighed 4.2 pounds at 33 1/2 weeks, and as my mother (Grandma Nana) observed during her first visit to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the U of M, Noah instantly made my universe a whole lot smaller. How I was living life before baby suddenly shifted to revolve around his and Chelsey’s basic needs to eat and sleep. My first diaper change, under the careful supervision of Noah’s rotating nurse, involved a sudden stream of unbridled urinary expression. I have no idea what I’m doing. But I won’t let that stop me from trying to be a good dad.
When Christ the King closed down in response to the threat of COVID-19 in our community, my job description more than slightly changed. Time once spent sending out weekly reminder emails to communion servers and coffee brewers was quickly filled by correcting audio drift and watching the snails-pace progress made during the rendering of worship videos. I have no idea what I’m doing. But I won’t let that stop me from trying to be a thoughtful Director of Worship.
When George Floyd was brutally murdered at the hands of a white police officer on May 25, the complicit numbness I have been clinging to as a cisgender, straight, white man in the midst of a racist pandemic was laid bare, exposing raw anger and sadness. I will no longer stay silent while I examine and challenge the ways I’ve used my own whiteness to gain power in our country, one that was built on what it continues to benefit from by destroying Black lives. I have already made shameful errors, and I will continue to mess up. I have no idea what I’m doing. But I won’t let that stop me from trying to be an outspoken anti-racist.
When Jesus told his disciples, “Take up the cross and follow me,” I’m guessing there were a few clarifying questions they wanted to ask before embarking on a lifelong journey of sacrifice, service, and certain exile. They were faced with a decision, like many of us face everyday, to leave the comforts of what we know and have grown used to, or to take a step in faith for the sake of love and for the sake of our neighbors.
People of Christ the King, white supremacy and racism aren't going away. COVID-19 isn’t going away. Being a dad (or a mom, brother, son, sister, or daughter) thanks be to God, isn’t going away. God’s claim on our lives as beloved children isn’t going away. So why would we wait to respond?
What are you waiting for?