Erasing History…Or Just Your Version

I’m getting tired of people who are saying the people who are protesting and demanding that white supremacy monuments are trying to erase history.

They aren’t.

Unless you believe that yours is the only version of history that matters. 

The more I listen and read, the more I realize the history I was spoon fed in school was whitewashed—cleansed of the rich heritage of others. BIPOC history, with all it’s richness, was swapped out for a misrepresentation or ignoring of how land was gained and jobs got done. Assimilation was the mandate. 

As we discussed this over breakfast, my mother made a comment that was insightful. She said that white supremacy didn’t start once people landed on these shores. Nope. I came on the boats. And our founders didn’t stray far from their roots. They may have tried to hide behind the words in their documents, but they didn’t mean that everyone was created equal, or deserved life, liberty, and happiness. No. That was reserved for those whose skin was like theirs.

What if instead of being afraid of what really happened—or continues to happen—we truly educated ourselves on what transpired, on what has been denied or ignored. What if we read…and listened. What if we made room for others. 

Maybe we really could learn something from history.

Message Meme: Family Trees

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Have you noticed the growth in companies where you can find your DNA and roots in your family tree? The top ones, according to a google search (now I’m going to get a landslide of ads since they think I’m interested now—whatever happened to just doing research?) are: MyHeritage; Ancestry (because everyone wants a leaf); Living DNA; Vitagene; 23andMe; and GPS Origins. Wikipedia listed the options alphabetically and had 36 in their list.

Have your researched your family tree? Why all the interest? And, does it really matter?

I remember as a child watching with utter fascination as my great-grandmother unrolled a large piece of very old looking paper reavealing our family tree. This historical piece took my family line all the way back to William Bradford. I knew the name because I studied about him in school! My awe and excitement bubbled up and over.

Why do we seek to know our genetic history and connections to the past? I believe God made us this way. Our spiritual wiring is all about connection and relationship.

So it’s not surprising to me that when God gave Moses the fifth commandment, the one that begins to address our horizontal relationships, he begins at home. And he begins with staying connected.

In the commercials for the different DNA searching companies, the people who are telling their stories are finding pride in their ethnicity—in where they’re from and their newly found identiies.

I can’t fill in a lot of the boxes in my family tree. Sometimes that makes me sad. Then I remember my spiritual tree goes back to a garden. Not all my ancestors have pretty stories. But my bottom line is this: I am a child of God.

Rebuilding With Nehemiah, Chapter 9 Day 5

Friday: Do We Learn From History?

Text: 16 “But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. 17 They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. (Neh. 9:16-17a)

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Teach: Reading through Nehemiah 9:16-30 we find the ups and downs of God’s people. Their experience is summed up pretty well in our text for today. What was the root of their up and down relationship? Arrogance, disobedience, and lack of remembering. They forgot how they got to where they were. They began to think they could handle things all on their own. And as a result the walked in disobedience.

Take: Remember. So often we live as spiritual amnesiacs. Some of Jesus’ final words to his followers came at the Last Supper: this do in remembrance of me. Don’t forget. Daily Bible reading isn’t merely an exercise to cross off our “to do” list. It’s the process by which we keep on remembering.

Task: What miracles has God performed in your life? Take time to remember, and give thanks.

Neh 9 history

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