“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.
I’ve been thinking something since June 2016 when I first read a blog posted by a new faculty member at Northeastern Seminary. It has stayed with me because I was overcome with emotion as I read it. Touched by the transparency and grace in which the blog was written, moved by a reality I do not know and confronted by my responsibility to make a change. Yes, one blog (and the moving of the Holy Spirit!) can do that.
I grew up understanding that all people are created by God and my job is to see and love those I come in contact with. And I agreed with that. In my own naïve mind I thought knowing this was enough. Most of my education has taken place in Christian communities, unfortunately not reflecting the beauty of God’s diversity. As I began my professional career I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be a part of diversity training and began understanding my own limits and biases. I learned I have privilege and access that others do not. I learned I have a responsibility, given my privilege and position, to create access for others. To imply that I have “arrived” or understand fully would be an overstatement. I am still continuing on this journey of fully understanding God’s intended world.
After reading the June 2016 blog what came to mind was “This is why diversity matters!”
Diversity is important because it allows us to have a community of different perspectives. It allows us to begin to understand each other in new ways. It challenges us to break down the stereotypes around us and in our own minds. But what I read in this blog is different. It shows me diversity matters because we need to see ourselves in those around us. We need to see it in faculty, staff, students, alumni; teachers, lawyers, doctors, pastors and leaders. And yes, we needed to see diversity at the highest positions in our country. As I read this blog I heard why having a diverse campus for our students, our faculty and staff is important. And I heard that without it we may never fully understand the fullness and richness of who God is.
Today, as we celebrate the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who stood tirelessly and faithfully in the face of opposition to gain freedom and equality for the oppressed, I am reminded of why diversity matters and the action I am called to take.
The blog that opened my eyes was In God’s Good Time: On My First Class at Northeastern Seminary, written by faculty member Esau McCaulley. With his permission I have attached the link below. I encourage you to take a moment to read it. As I carefully read each word he wrote, I heard his heart, I heard his joy, I heard his pain and I heard his hope. May his words spur you to a new way of envisioning God’s kingdom and the world around you.