Millions of people want a nation that offers equality and healing between races, generations and socioeconomic classes. The climate of present-day America presents anger and fear instead of hope. From hashtag movements to substance abuse increase, the media and statistics reveal that people are hurting.
A KKK rally in my town. My dad’s sudden death at the age of 69. Family tension. The last half of 2017 was a personal season of turmoil. Compounded pain and unanswered questions. My grieving became a grappling process. I asked God, “What am I supposed to learn through my pain? How do we mend family dysfunction? Will there ever be peace on this side of Heaven?” I began to think about all I had read over the years. Topics like emotional health, cellular memory, spiritual warfare and even quantum physics. My husband and I had been ordained ministers for several years and as a result we had listened to and prayed with many people of various ages, races and backgrounds over the years. I saw one common denominator: brokenness.
We hurt because we are broken. The world is broken. The course of inherited sin flows with each new generation. When we consider our own bad decisions which were influenced by a childhood trauma or family and community dysfunction, this makes sense. As I pondered all of this while watching the news or reading social media posts, I would say to God: “Lord, I have no idea how you are going to fix this complex mess!”
God can fix it, but it will take more than one US administration, grassroots hashtag, and church prayer meeting. Seeing individual, family and social struggle through a larger lens and realizing that the fixing may take 2-3 generations has given me a peace that if I do my part, teach my kids to do their part, and encourage others to do their parts…slowly and steadily, life for us all will improve.
It is a lens that considers how God created us to function. For example, did you know that some fears and habits have generational and spiritual roots? This issue grows more complex when we learn that our brains begin to be reshaped by these fears and habits. Multiply these times the members of a family and a community and we begin to learn how larger systems-the business world, the political realm, and even faith communities become unhealthy and for some individuals, destructive.
Some already have this lens: the Caucasian woman who lives in one of the most dangerous inner cities Mississippi and regularly reached out to the African American drug addict who almost assaulted her is one. In Cleveland, Ohio, lives an African American leader who grew up in poverty, went to college, and met a drug dealer. She ended up pregnant and abused, but eventually changed the trajectory of her life when someone reached out to her in kindness. Now she is Divisional Coordinator of a national organization that mentors teen moms. These mentors are not only helping one person find victory. They pave the way for families to be healthy and the next generation to stand in triumph. These men and women are culture changers who are transforming communities, one person at a time.
We desire for every human being to have the opportunity to prosper intellectually, emotionally and practically. We want to “lift up the humble” (Psalm 147:60) and weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15). In addition, we want shalom, the Hebrew word for peace, completeness, and harmony, from which we reveal God’s goodness to everyone around us.
Human brokenness has coursed through human history and affects every aspect of life. Understanding the problems of victimization, ego versus other, and projection and group think, helps to formulate a perspective of a person’s individual struggles in the light of human relationships. The roots of cultural PTSD and unhealthy generational patterns reveal that familial and community problems cannot be resolved through increased financial resources. As triune beings composed of a spirit, soul and physical body, wholeness to individuals, families, and communities happens when tangible and unseen realities are dealt with in tandem.
This holistic lens gives Culture Changers patience as they walk alongside someone who looks and lives differently than they do.
If one by one we counted people out For the least sin, it wouldn’t take us long To get so we had no one left to live with. For to be social is to be forgiving. Robert Frost – “The Star Splitter”
Stay tuned for the release date.