Union Ridge Church

Friday, November 13, 2020

by Reverend Dan on November 13, 2020

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7


Every once in a while, I’ll have someone call to ask, “Preacher, how did you go about having ‘the talk’ with your kids?” I have to say, that’s not one you really want to share with anyone because at best that talk is embarrassing, and at worst it’s educational when your kids tell you stuff you didn’t know.


So, imagine how floored I was the other day when I started to read an article in a magazine printed especially for pastors. Reading the opening paragraph was one of those times the “shock factor” for my naivety about the culture around me sent the meter off the chart.


“When I was a 12-year-old boy, I had a sobering conversation with my father and my uncle. Generally, it is referred to as ‘the talk’. In African American families, it is common for parents to introduce their adolescent children, especially their sons, to the dangers awaiting them in a world that now perceives them as young adults. I still remember the alarm sounded by my uncle. He said, ‘Neph, you are male, black, and large. Many will perceive you as a threat, and it may get you killed’.”


Not quite ‘the talk’ from my cultural background. Isn’t it amazing how that one phrase – ‘the talk’ – can mean two entirely different things to people who live right next door to each other?


Both are talks about life, but one is about giving life, and the other is about how life can be taken from you. Both are talks about rites of passage, but one is about becoming a man, and the other is about simply being seen as a man. One is about the joy of the future, but the other is about simply having a future.


We need to open our eyes to the reality that “ours” is not the only culture, even in our own neighborhoods. And we need to open our hearts to the reality that what for some may be an awkward moment, is for others an eye-opening, life-determing reality.


Have you had . . . ‘the talk’? Maybe it’s time we all did. 


“Father, Open our very beings to see the whole world around us and be reminded that ‘red and yellow, black and white, we are all precious in His sight, for Jesus truly loves all the little children of the world. In His name we pray, AMEN.”