Scripture: John 5:5-6
Several years ago, the late Asa G. Hilliard III, a well-known historian and educational psychologist, described the ten most prevalent impediments to African American unity.
Consider these things carefully and realize that they account for Black people’s overall lack of a sense of unity and direction.
We have let our names go. The first step towards disorientation is to surrender your name. We have surrendered our way of life (our culture). We have stopped speaking the language we knew and we have stopped behaving as African people behaved.
We have lost our way of doing things and we have adopted the ways of people unlike ourselves. We have lost our appetite because we have lost our names and culture. Even when those among us recreate our culture and present it to us, we no longer have an appetite for it.
We have a general loss of memory. Few of us can tell the story of African people without beginning it with slavery. It is as if slavery were the only thing that happened to African people.
We have created false memories. Not only have we lost the true memory of African people, we now have a host of other memories which are totally removed from the truth.
We have lost independent control of ourselves; we have little or no control of our educational process, our economic situation, our communications or our politics even while experiencing the first Black President.
We have lost our sensitivity. We have lost the ability to perceive when people are doing things to us which are detrimental. We accept inaccurate perceptions without criticism. As a cumulative result of all of these things, we have lost our solidarity, our sense of unity.
When we lost our unity, we lost our political advantage, economical advantage, and even our mental orientation. Like the man at the pool of Bethesda, we are around so many lame, blind and wounded folk without direction or sense of self.
Truthfully, there is no amount of information alone that can correct all the problems that have come about as a result of this lack of a sense of unity and direction.
The question I want to ask is, “Do we really want to be made whole?” Or is our present lame, withered, halt, blinded and fragmental reality how we want to be seen, experienced and identified by all concerned?
If I were to ask you if you want to be made whole, I’m sure you would say yes. If we ask, do we see the church as whole, many would say sadly, No!
But what does it mean to be whole? Simply put, it means to become a whole person in body, mind and spirit; that is, to become physically whole, emotionally whole, and spiritually whole.
If we want to be made well/whole, we need to resolve all past hurts, forgive anyone and everybody who has ever hurt us, face and resolve every buried negative emotion, deal with and resolve any unconfessed sin, and make our life right with God.
It is quite a challenge to be sure, not only for a people, but likewise for the church!