My daily prayer liturgy almost always leads me to a time of prayer regarding racism. Last year, one day while in prayer, I had this long, but singular thought...
I should, as a white-dude who has directly or indirectly benefitted from generations of systematic evil, go to the shores of Haiti, where slavery was essentially commercialized, and enter into a time of confession and prayer with a couple of my black friends.
The thought was followed by, well, I'm not sure how to describe it. I guess it felt like every part of my being, down to the molecular level, said, "YES," in agreement. My next thought was, OK, that's a little crazy. I'm probably not going to do that. Am I?
I didn't tell anyone. For several months. That's what you do when you have a crazy idea. Remember what Mary, the mother of Jesus, did after the angel spoke to her? She "hid all these things in her heart." It's a good model for all of us. But, after a few months, my idea wouldn't go away. One day I made the mistake of letting it slip out to someone. Ha. I knew, as soon as it left my mouth, that I was doing this.
So, in two weeks, a couple of buddies and me are heading to La Navidad Beach in N/E Haiti where Cristopher Columbus landed (wrecked) in 1492. Haiti has never really been the same since that landing. The truth is, none of us have ever really been the same. I'm not suggesting Columbus' excursions were solely responsible for slavery. It was already happening in various global locations. However, probably no one was more influential than Columbus in establishing the trade routes that wound up facilitating, profiting, and standardizing the practice.
So, that's where we're going. We want to acknowledge some wildly, evil practices that went on in the past, and maybe be a part of wildly, beautiful practices for the future. You should pray along with us!