In my lifetime, I’ve been called, Chink and Bruce Lee (and I’m not even Chinese). I’ve been called Tight-eye, Darkie, and Dog-eater. Because I was born on the Island of Guam, I’ve been called Guam-alien.
I’ve also been told to “Go back to the country where you came from.”
And every time these words were spoken to me, I was always made to feel low. Inferior. Less than. Invaluable. Even oppressed.
Needless to say, racist phrases and words that were said to me growing up has left an emotional sting even to this day. And, every time these words rear its ugly head out of the hole they came from, I tense up. My heart beats a little faster. My throat tightens. I become emotionally low.
Because of my empathy for others, these emotional feelings are triggered when I hear these horrible remarks spit in the faces of my fellow human beings.
It’s been a tough week, if I’m being honest.
But, as a person of faith in Jesus, I hang on to the hope of restoration, healing, and redemption.
I remember passages like the Parable of the Good Samaritan. I cling on to illustrations where Jesus embraces those who weren’t like Him (social, ethnic, and gender). I celebrate the apostles breaking racial barriers to welcome diversity into their communities. I hold on to verses like 1 Corinthians 12:13 that says, “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”
I hold on.
We all need to hold on.
We all need to hold on and persevere.
I can’t go back to the country I came from, because I’m already here.