I grew up in a not-so-well-off neighborhood. I grew up in a trailor at the end of a dead end street. Most people would assume that I was “trailor-trash” or rather “white-trash”, or maybe just a “Redneck”. Regardless that was my life. I grew up with country music, NASCAR, and ____ (anything else that would fit the sterotype). I grew up in proverty. I grew up not knowing what was for dinner and even if the oven was working that day. My mom played it off as so we did not know. I grew up with male figures in my life who were not there and if they were treated the women as beneath them and treated them more as slaves. I grew up with a mom who loved me with all her heart, and had battle wounds to show it. I grew up with three other siblings battling the same things as I did, we were battling trying to find ourselves in a mist of utter confusion and chaos.
The kicker in all this, I also grew up in a racist strickened family, both my mothers and my fathers side. Ones who confess themselves as Christians, but refuse to worship with, to work with and even associate themselves with a person of a different color skin. I grew up with people telling me that I should not move off the sidewalk and I should stand my path if a black person walked by. I was to never go out of my way for them, never. I was even told “horror” stories of things that happened in my parents or their friends past so that I would be scared not to hang out with or associate with the black community. As a child I believed and listened to them. But as blinders of childhood began to ware off my life changed. There are many whose lives were just like mine.
We were both poor. We were poor not just in the finance department but poor in love, in spirit, in community, in faith and even hope. I felt like I could not better myself because I was born into a definition. I felt like I could amount to nothing because that’s all I was. I failed a grade and got put in special education classes because I felt unworthy, dumb, ignorant, beaten, and depressed. I did not do well in school because I didn’t think my life mattered.
There are so many people who go through this, regardless of the color skin. We have people in Baltimore who are told they will not succeed because of where they were born. We have people who think they are defined by their social economic status, race, neighborhood, their family, all of which they were born into. Listen, it doesn’t matter where you come from.
God is the only one who has the right to define you because He the only one who knows everything about you. He loves you, He cares about you. He even came down in human form to die and suffer for your sins on a cross.
It doesn’t matter your background or race, we all sin and Jesus still died for you and your sins. His blood covers both our sins. We must confess our sins and repent them. We also must put our hope and our faith in Jesus. Let not this world define us. Because this world is not our home.
I will stand with and defend any person who believes in, has hope in, and their faith is in Christ our Lord. I will also defend and stand with the hopeless because I was there. I will also stand and defend any person who is struggling to make ends meet, to feed their families, because I was there. I am here to stand with anyone who is lost.