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“Perseverance is a great element of success.  If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.”  – Henry W. Longfellow

“Be not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self- respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Maybe this will help explain why I refer to white people as racists or recovering racists. Recovering racists have left the past to join with African Americans to become a part of the future. We no longer bear guilt nor expend energy denying we had it. We listen – in the ‘sublime seas” where we study the works of black scholars and preachers who give us hope for the future and respect for all of God’s children – and return to those who look like us (skin just as white) but aren’t. We let them know they can become recovering racists, too.

Sound like a Christian conversion? It is. As Emerson says, It is the experience that explains.

Jesus, the Blessed Child of the Father, is a peacemaker. His peace doesn’t mean only absence of war. It is not simply harmony or equilibrium. His peace is the fullness of well-being, gratuitously given by God. Jesus says, “Peace I leave to you, my own peace I give you, a peace which the world cannot give, this is my gift to you” (John 14:27).

Peace is Shalom — well-being of mind, heart, and body, individually and communally. It can exist in the midst of a war-torn world, even in the midst of unresolved problems and increasing human conflicts. Jesus made that peace by giving his life for his brothers and sisters. This is no easy peace, but it is everlasting and it comes from God. Are we willing to give our lives in the service of peace?