July 06, 2016

A Prayer of Repentance from a White Girl

Leviticus 5:7 Our ancestors sinned and are no more,
    and we bear their punishment.

I do on this day acknowledge and grieve of the sins of my ancestors. 
I am white and American. 
I repent of the system of oppression that has held others down. 
Although I never owned a slave or physically harmed anyone, I do acknowledge that I am part of a system where my race gives me advantages.
I have taken this system for granted. 
I have denied its existence. 

I repent of the sins of my nation.
I repent of the sins of my race.
I repent and turn away.
I feel deeply the sorrow.

When I think of the times someone was beaten, raped, held down, forced into embarrassing positions, ridiculed, mocked, made to look foolish, told to stand back, sit down, turn around, move forward, I think of the rocks and the ground that were witnesses. 

They saw what was often hidden behind doors. Or sometimes boldly done in the streets in public view. The shame of everyone standing as you were torn apart limb from limb, from the inside first.

I think of the blood that was shed and the witnesses. Perhaps people . . . perhaps rocks, trees, wind, ground, water, or darkness.
The price is heavy. The weight is heavy.
Even if we did not lift a finger. It happened.
It was allowed. No one stopped it from happening.

I repent of at times thinking equity and equality were the same thing.

Please forgive us. We have done you wrong. 
Be patient with me. Help me to understand.
Be patient when I don't understand. Say it again.
A different way so I get it. 

You are our brothers. You are our sisters. We treated you as aliens.
Foreigners. Infidels. We treated you as animals. Property. 
When that was not allowed we made excuses. 

We have no excuse. We have no recourse. 
Save the blood of the lamb. We are washed clean. 
But there is still work to do.  
This is our legacy and our curse. It is ours to carry.
God help us all.