I Wanted to be the Mother of Africa

Situation 1: When I went to Zambia as a 21-year old to work with street kids, I wanted to be a mom to all of the street kids in Africa.

As soon as I put my shovel to the ground, so to speak, I realized that my expectations were unrealistic and naive. But after over a year of working with a few kids, one of them said to me, “You love very nice.”

Situation 2: 50 years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered outside the Lorraine Motel. He was only 39 years old, and he only saw tiny bits of the change he labored for.

I have listened to some of the MLK50 Conference, put on by The Gospel Coalition, and have been moved – deeply. Convicted. Motivated. Encouraged. Please, please, please do yourself and your fellow man a massive favor by listening to these talks! (Some are still happening today, and all will be made available for free.)

This anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination in the midst of increased racial tension is no accident. This journey toward racial reconciliation has been going on a long time.

Putting it together: But what do Martin Luther King, Jr. and racial issues have to do with my desire to be the mother of Africa? I have learned something crucial – it’s one. Step. At. A. Time. One life at a time.

I want to see racial issues figured out today. I want my one act of kindness to my African American neighbor to result in healing and reconciliation of all racial tension. But that is unrealistic and naive. Just like my desire to be a mother to all African street kids.

Should I give up? No. Change happens one life at a time and, firstly, inside of me. And I need to be committed to doing 3 incredibly vital things.

Love. Love others as I love myself. As I love my children and family.

Speak up. To be silent is to oppose. So, speak. And I know that speaking up about racial issues will mean being unpopular. But this issue is in the heart of God.

Be kind. Reconciliation can happen through deeds of kindness.

There are loads of other things that could be said. Pray! Make friends with people who look different than me. Let them shape me. Ask them to tell their stories. Learn. Be humble. Repent. Get to know black history. The list goes on.

But, first, I need to love, speak up, and be kind. Would you join with me in this? It is “a mighty long journey.” But let’s join hands to help see God’s kingdom come and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

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3 responses to “I Wanted to be the Mother of Africa

  1. Steve Walmsley

    Amen!
    With you in prayer and in personal desire for change.

  2. Laurie Walmsley

    That was a remarkably beautiful post. You still love nice. Thanks for your admonition and encouragement

    L

    Laurie Walmsley swalmsley@comcast.net c. 612-799-1732

  3. Eileen Cervantes

    I’ve never gotten over the desire to be the mom of Africa! But I will recognize you know more than me. Can’t wait to listen!

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