I need us to make it ok for black Christian women to want healthy, affirming lives without being accused of selfishness. Every time I turn around, someone is tugging on me to “love somebody like Jesus” as if it’s my job to usher everyone to the altar. Don’t get me wrong, I fully believe in being his hands and feet. I also believe in saving my fingers if my outstretched hand is threatened to be bitten off by a saint I’m trying to help. Too often, especially in the Christafrican community, we accommodate poor behavior that even the bible calls unacceptable (in the New Testament!) because we are trying to live “peaceably with all men.” But what if folks have boundary issues? What if folk are abusive? What if they are seriously toxic?
I like to tell my friends, my life experiences are such that I may be in my thirties on the outside, but my level of IDGAF matches that of a fifty-year-old. Don't get me wrong, I love my community but the trauma in the Christafrican community (just the black community overall) seriously needs to be addressed or no matter how we uphold our fight for civil rights and liberties, our own ignorance and toxicity will threaten to tear us down.
I live in Newark, New Jersey. You can google my city all by yourself. This is a choice my husband and I made after prayerfully considering where God wanted us to be planted. While I am not fully sure of why I am here, here we are. Well, earlier this summer, while I was working from home and minding my mask-wearing, hand-washing business, I looked outside of my window to see a guy trying to shoot someone in broad daylight. BROAD DAYLIGHT. Thank God he missed. Yet again, here I was staring out the window, traumatized. While the incident was short-lived and no one got hurt, I called my church friends to share how traumatized I was and everyone was like, so what?
Have we become so hardened to the potential loss of life that the thought of one of God’s children being shot down and dead bodies through murder and the pandemic mean nothing to us? It seems trauma has seriously hardened our community to levels I cannot tolerate. As I reflected on the experience, I thought about how many times I experienced wounds from my own community. I also thought about all the times I was asked to give a toxic person a pass because “they were going through something.” Meanwhile, I been going through something for three whole years and am always expected to handle folk with care. Go sit down.
Why are some people permitted to behave like barbarians while everyone accommodates them? Well, in 2020 it’s not gonna be me. It won’t be me in 2021, either. I’m not doing it at work, church, and definitely not with family members. Everyone and I mean everyone, is taking a back seat to my rest (except my husband & son, they are the only ones who REALLY need me). Get you some books on healing and a therapist, like I did.
It seems like every time I go to call out someone’s problematic behavior people say, “the Bible says we shouldn’t judge.” Which bible ARE YOU READING? My bible convicts me daily, like every day. SO, I don’t understand how church folk, especially black and Christafrican church folk, can turn around and say that mess. I was raised Muslim and sacrificed my entire relationship with my father to follow Christ. I am not talking about a deadbeat either. I’m talking about a man who brought all of his children and stepchildren across the Atlantic and filed for citizenship for every last one of them. I’m talking about a man who brought me Burger King to school whenever he was home. I’m talking about a man who bought and built all our first bikes, a man I saw g-check SEVERAL school administrators when they tried to come for us. My father was VERY present. There were only three things my father and I could not agree on: faith, my role in society as a woman, and who I should marry. Yet, these three fractures were enough to turn our relationship toxic, to the point where I was no longer willing to engage him.
Fast forward to marrying into a Christafrican community (LAWD, my older brother tried to warn me) and realizing that people actually expect me to tolerate the same toxic behaviors of manipulation and control I dealt with when trying to break away from my father’s expectations. Hell to the naw, I refuse to be terrorized by toxic Christafricanism. I will stay my butt home and pluck my eyebrows to praise music or WE WILL ALL sit in terror. I’m serious.
The type of mess we tolerate in Christafrican church is for the birds AND horror flicks. The "culture" has taken over kingdom culture and is leaving people who are actually seeking Christ wounded or falling away from the faith altogether. I will stop here since I am a minister in church::smiles::, but we seriously need to evaluate how we are interpreting scripture and whether or not we are the ones we need deliverance from so we can stop giving the devil all this credit.
Now I know some church elder is going to stumble across this post and get offended (cuz people are way too nosy to mind their business in Christafrican church), but oh well. I've been appalled for a hot minute myself so take it to the king in prayer, like I did.
Let God cleanse you, like he does me, DAILY.