In the midst of current heightened racial unrest, pandemics and extreme divisiveness everywhere – there is HOPE. Lot’s of hope. Whether it’s racial, family or spiritual reconciliation that you long for – here is a great “how to” for true reconciliation. Featuring our host, LeginTV
Legin: See, we think that racial issues, we think it’s a man-to-man problem and it’s absolutely not.
Martin Luther King, Jr.: I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
Racial reconciliation, something that’s plaguing our country now, has plagued our country, and indeed the world. Something that we don’t wanna talk about ’cause we think it’s taboo, it’s touchy, it’s media-driven, or it’s painful. But at the end of the day, we have to ’cause it’s impacting all of us and, in fact, the gospel demands we do.
My story was one that wasn’t plagued by a lot of drama with this. I grew up in a neighborhood that was peaceful, that was great, but it was racially split. One side was white, one side was black, literally across the street.
When my mother was a child, there were thick ropes to prevent her from crossing to the white side. I grew up in that same house. those ropes were gone and those houses were passed down to children so it still looks the way it is, the ramifications of the past.
Does that mean the pain and problems of the past remain there? I don’t think that’s true.
But I’ve had great opportunity standing on the shoulders of those who fought for peace, both white and black who’ve sacrificed and given their lives for this.
My mother raised me with a great awareness of our country’s history and where we were at the time and where we still are. She told me things like, “Hey, listen, when you get pulled over, here’s the extra steps you need to take to make it home.” But she never raised me with a ounce of malice, or bitterness, or a chip on my shoulder. She just told me there are extra steps you have to take to survive as a minority.
Today we’re facing tension as it relates to racial inequalities, racial injustices, and just misunderstandings and big differences.
If anybody’s ever gonna offer hope to this situation, I fully believe that it has to be and will be believers in Jesus who take this topic seriously, who can change the narrative of Scriptures that were used and manipulated to make certain injustices okay and show what the Scripture really says about freedom and peace.
One of the things Jesus said, he gave us this great answer. He said that, “the greatest commandment, the one that sums up the entire Bible is this: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your mind, your soul, your strength.’ And ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
If you pay attention, you can see the cross in that commandment. There’s a vertical man and God, love the Lord your God, and then love your neighbor as yourself.
We think that our racial indifferences and our challenges are a man-to-man proposition, it’s man hating man. And that’s incorrect. It’s a God to man proposition. If we’re not reconciled with God first, we have no hope of being reconciled correctly to each other. And that reconciliation is played out in the life of Jesus, who, if his story is true, literally left heaven to go on a mission of reconciliation to connect us to the Father and to each other, the way it was designed to be.
Martin Luther King, Jr.: I have a dream.
Legin: Paul, who wrote 70% of the New Testament, sums it up another way. He says in his letter, 2 Corinthians 5 that, “all this is from God who, through Christ, was reconciling the world to himself and then gave us the ministry of reconciliation to continue with all with each other, across ethnic lines, racial lines, gender lines, socio-economic lines.
Every line you could imagine that man is using to divide himself, Christ came to break it down. The message of reconciliation is embodied in the person of Jesus, and believers in Jesus should know that. They should be the first ones running towards it.
Now, here’s the thing. We’re very tribal people, we will go to corners with people who look like us, agree with us, believe like us, whether that’s politically, religiously, socially. And that’s natural.
But if we wanna see real reconciliation happening, that means we’ve got to come out of our corners and build relationships with people that we may not do naturally. And that’s exactly what Jesus did. He went out of his way to come to me and to come to you. And reconciliation is present with him. To be able to forgive somebody of something that they don’t deserve to be forgiven of.
female: From that moment on, I began an uphill journey to recovery.
Legin: What does the gospel say about reconciliation? And for us, in dealing with this, the core thing, Jesus already said it. He said, “The greatest commandment is to, ‘love your Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.’ And to ‘love your neighbor as yourself.'”
If you look at that, He places a vertical reconciliation on us first. Get the God-man proposition right, and then you can deal with the man-to-man proposition. See, we think that racial issues and social issues and ethnic issues and all these prejudices, we think it’s a man-to-man problem and it’s absolutely not. It’s a God-to-man problem.
When we’re not reconciled with the Father and know what his true love is, there’s no way in the world we’re gonna get it right with each other and we’re gonna find ways to topple over each other.
And that’s what our history says. These are the things Dr. King fought against and that’s the stuff we’re still dealing with, the ramifications of today, in many ways.
But when we get the God-to-man right, I mean, and truly get it right, then the only– the only possible outcome is overflow of getting the man-to-man right, which is what Jesus said.
Paul said, in 2 Corinthians 5, that, “all this is from God who in Christ was reconciling the world to himself and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation.” So it is not an option for the believer to only talk about the God-to-man reconciliation. We have to talk about the man-to-man reconciliation ’cause it says that he made us ambassadors of this message. He entrusted to us the ministry of reconciliation.
Some people may wanna toss it to the side as a political, a taboo thing, or somethin they decide that’s-No, this is a gospel issue that is intentional and it takes a lot of work and time because we, as people, are gonna go to where we’re most comfortable, where people agree with us.
The reality is, man, there are two big steps to this.
The first one is reconciliation with God and man. If you’ve never been reconciled to the Father through Christ, and you know you’re disconnected, you know you don’t know him, maybe you know about him, maybe you’ve never heard him, but you know you’re not connected with him. Take that first step to get reconciled and put in proper order with God.
And I’d like to pray with you.These are words you can use as long as you believe ’em and pray ’em from your heart, this is between you and God. This is a conversation between you and the Father who sent his Son Christ to reconcile the broken relationship between God and man.
Now you can just simply do it this way: say, “Lord God, I recognize I’m apart from you and I recognize I need you. And I wanna turn away from my sin, everything that’s not like you and everything that I’ve tried to put my hope into. I turn from that, I repent, I turn to you, and I believe Jesus is who he said he is, the one true God reconciling us to the Father. It’s in Jesus’s name I pray, amen.”
Step one, reconciliation is a God-to-man proposition.
Step two is being a minister of reconciliation and taking that message forward, man to man, building relationships with people that you may not normally build one with because they’re in a different corner than you, for whatever reason.
Stepping out of your comfort zone, building a relationship the same way Jesus did with you and understanding and caring and loving about people who don’t come from where you come from or don’t understand the things you do, have a different culture than you have, a different political position. It doesn’t matter.
Christ came in to build those relationships and broke all these barriers. And now, that responsibility is mine and yours.
This is the answer to what we’re seeing and what we’re facing. This is the answer to fix the pain and the systems and the problems that we’ve been dealing with and it’s possible because of what Christ did for us.
No matter where you are in this conversation with God-to-man or man-to-man reconciliation, there are people waiting to talk to you right now, all day, every day, at MXTV.ORG/CHAT. Give them a visit. They’re waiting to hear from you.
This is my side of L&J where we never move pacts or heard the metal spray, but these mental weights were never meant for featherweights.
You might have skipped the bit. Please let me set the record straight.
Found a buyer, successful black mortician who took privilege, bought land for black folk to live in, sold homes to just them to upsize conditions. This was the ’30s and ’40s. This stuff wasn’t good then.
I grew up in the same house where my mother was raised. A lot of history was mixed with my coming of age. The high school I attended, my uncle did integrate. The first black Miss Bayside, my mother, she won that race. Was taught to overcome by grandparents that give her faith, taught about racial hatred but never was taught to hate. The white and black side was split there by a lake. Houses passed down to kids, still that way to this day. Was taught what my people went through to elevate. Had a dream as a child, we never deal with these things. I remember thinking, “Man, that’s just another day.” But harsh realities took all of that away. This is my side of L&J.
Legin: When I was five, my mother left my father to save me from a drug-addicted household, alcoholism, just to give me a better life. And so, most of my story is always thinking about the impact of that on me. Then the other part of that is the impact of all that on her.
What my mother went through, thinking about everything that she lost: a marriage she committed her life to, a career that she’d developed and done well in, and having to leave all that behind for the sake of her only child.
And there are a lot of single mothers out there, single parents, that are struggling with the ramifications of their spouse or their partner’s bad decisions, how that impacts their child, but how it also impacts them.
My mother was an amazing woman, still is, my best friend. She’s an amazing woman. She’s done so much for me. She is the definition of love and sacrifice.
I struggled with, “Am I gonna be a good father? Am I gonna be a good husband? Am I gonna mess this up like my dad did? Or do I have a chance?” And all through my younger years, that was a struggle for me.
One of the things my mother did for me that changed my life and I hope this gives hope to any other mother that’s in a situation like this.
When I was 15 or 16, it was Father’s Day and I’d never celebrated Father’s Day. I didn’t have anything to celebrate. My mother took me out to dinner and at that dinner I’m like, “Hey, Mom, why are we here?” It didn’t even resonate with me, like, what’s the point of this nice dinner tonight?
And my mother looked at me and she said, “I’m celebrating the man and the father you’re going to be in advance.” And that perspective changed me, that she believed that much in me that I could overcome the thing that scared me the most.
What’s the point? The point is if you’re a single mom out there and you’ve got a child and you don’t know how– you’re just going day to day, you don’t know how you’re gonna make it.
You’ve got pain in you from what you’ve been through, what you’re dealing with, what your child’s going through, and you’ve gotta figure all that out as well as just make it. I want you to know that while things may not be ideal, God can use that situation in ways you couldn’t imagine and produce something beyond your wildest dreams in you, and in your child.
So you may be a single mom like my mother was and you’re going through dilemmas and challenges and all types of stuff, maybe you share it with your friends, maybe you hold it inside. And maybe you just need somebody to talk to.
I wanna first encourage you, man, that God is the person you can talk to anytime, anywhere, no matter where you are. And he will speak back. It’s what his Word says.
But there are also some people that care about you. If you go to MXTV.ORG/CHAT right now there’s somebody on the other end who just wants to walk out life with you where you are, encourage you, and let you know you’re not alone. Visit MXTV.ORG/CHAT to talk to somebody today.
Legin: Don’t give up. God’s got you there for a reason. No matter what your situation is, the Bible says in Romans 8:28 that, “All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.” God can reconcile your future and your purpose and your past, all in one swoop. Just trust him where you are and fear not.
Legin: We all go through things, but I want to specifically talk to single moms right now. As a child who was raised by a single mom, from that end of it, I understand what you’re going through, I know the pain. I see how it’s just you, how you’re struggling, and how you’re working through all types of things, mentally and practically, and I just wanna say, “Man, I feel you and I know you’re hurting and I get it.” And God is there for you.
Now, on the other side of that, as a man who has his children, has a wife, and I see even in a greater scale what that void is like. On behalf of men who care about what you’re going through, I would like to apologize and say, “I’m so sorry for what you’re dealing with, and I wish you the best and I pray that you find comfort and restoration and reconciliation right now.
But I also wanna give you hope. We made it through that. My mom and I made it through that and we are best friends and life is good and God redeemed and restored and reconciled. There is hope in the middle of what you’re dealing with and for yourself in the future and for your children. You can do it. Trust God and don’t give up.
I also wanna talk to another segment that I think gets left behind in this. I wanna talk to single dads out there ’cause there’s a great deal of men who are working hard to be the men and the fathers they need to be to their children.
But some of them are doing it alone and I want you to know that you’re not forgotten. God sees you, I see you, and I thank God for you.
In addition, there are also men who are trying to be there for their kids and they’re being prevented by courts and by systems and by other situations where they’re not even allowed to see their kids. I’m not talking about the guys that aren’t doing– handling their business. I’m talking about the men that want to and are still being pushed back and being prevented from that. Don’t give up. Chase your kids. Trust God. Everything’s gonna work out. I see you. You’re not alone in this. And there are people that wanna talk with you and chat with you. Matter of fact, I’m here for you.
Find me on social media. My name is Legin. Look up L-E-G-I-N, find me. I’d love to chat with you in the DMs and just encourage you in the Lord if I can.
Nevertheless, man, if we never talk, somebody you can always talk to is Christ. He’s there for you. Hit your knees, pray, talk to him. He’ll respond.
Also, if you need to talk to somebody right now, my friends at MXTV.ORG/CHAT are waiting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to rap with you and talk with you about life and about Christ and just to encourage you. Go and hit up that chat. Somebody’s on the other end waiting for you right now.
female: Finding or having the right community of people around us is so important because we sometimes aren’t aware that there are people willing and waiting to support. Even though the process may not always be easy, freedom is always possible. We are all deserving and worthy of love, irrespective of our former or current mistakes. Our value doesn’t increase or decrease because our ability to be perfect or an outstanding human being. Because the truth is, we all have areas in our lives that we wished either didn’t exist or we could improve upon. Whoever you are and wherever you are, I want you to know that there is always a light at the end of every tunnel.
male: Life can be hard. Jesus cares. Go to mxtv.org/chat and chat or text with someone who understands.
male: How can I be in a room filled with people, filled to the brim, and still feel alone?
female: I was obsessed.
male: We all feel alone sometimes. We’re here for you. This is why we’re doing this.
male: We’ve made it really easy for you to talk to someone anonymously.
Egypt Speaks: My name is Egypt Speaks. I’m a spoken word artist from Cleveland, Ohio, and I think I have a really important question for you. And I want you to take it seriously.
I’m not kidding when I ask this and what I really wanna know is what do you–what do you keep in your pockets? Now, ladies, I know that for some reason we are not normally blessed with the existence of real pockets with the jeans that we buy but just for a moment imagine that the good Lord has smiled upon us and we get pants pockets.
What would you keep in there if you could? I want you to keep that in your mind. I want you to visualize it. Hold on to it, we’re gonna get back to that later.
I wanna tell you how I go fishing. Now, something kind of funny about me is that I love fishing but I’m terrified of fish. And there are a few other things that I’m afraid of as well, and so I have to take some extra precautions.
When I go fishing, I text my grandmother and let her know what I’m up to. I make sure that I pack my rod and my tackle box. I got an extra license to make sure that I’m always insured, just in case I get stopped and asked about it.
But I try not to let it expire and I try not to get within a couple of weeks of its expiration date before I renew. It’s just less risky that way.
So I’ll take my tackle box, my license, my wallet, my fishing pole, and then I’ll go and I make sure that my attire matches the occasion. I wear tank tops and cloth shorts, despite the fact that I hate both of those things. It’s just not as easy to hide anything under that. I don’t wanna seem like I’m a threat when I leave. Then I’ll go downstairs. Put the box, the pole, the reel, and everything inside, along with my sandals.
I heard on a TV show once people don’t think you’re as threatening ’cause you can’t run without a closed toed shoe. And I drive down to the park. Sure, the park is probably about 500 feet from my house but it’s just safer this way.
I make sure that I call my grandmother and let her know that I’m there and she doesn’t tell me to have a good time. She doesn’t tell me to take pictures of my catches. She tells me to be safe because what I’m doing is kind of dangerous.
When I get out of my car, I put everything on the sidewalk and I tape my fishing license to my tackle box. And I do this so that if I’m asked for it, I don’t have to reach for anything and then– and then I turn my pockets inside out.
I’ll walk all the way down to the end of this trail. When I get to the pier, I make sure that I set everything down within reach and everything is in view. My tackle box will always be open, so that way, my license is showing.
And when I cast my line out, I make sure that I do it sideways so that way I can see whoever’s coming down that path that I just hiked up. And I know this seems kind of melodramatic for a fishing trip, right?
But the reason I asked you that question, beginning of this, you know, what do you keep in your pockets, is simple: I’ve never lived in a world where having something in my pockets wasn’t potentially dangerous.
I’m kind of curious as to what that’s like for someone who doesn’t have to worry about it. The reason I’m so careful with all of my identification is because just down the road from me, an African American man was pulled over and when he reached for his wallet he was shot dead by the officer who stopped him.
He swore he had a weapon but the only thing in his glove box was his registration.
I make sure that I call my grandmother when I get there because I know that between my house and that park there’s a chance that I may not arrive safely and if something were to happen to me I would need someone to know ’cause I may not always have that voice.
When I get out and I hike down that trail and I turn sideways, I’m not worried about someone else coming down that park range, I’m worried that I might be told or asked to do something, whether that be to get on the ground or turn around slowly or find my identification, I just don’t wanna be seen as a threat. If my pockets are inside out, it means that I might not be seen as dangerous.
Look, I’m not telling you all of this to try to convince you of anything. That’s not my job and, quite frankly, it’s difficult to do if the subject we’re talking about isn’t relatable to a wide audience. Sometimes that’s hard. And finding common ground, especially in these last few months has not been easy.
It’s very difficult to become passionate about a cause or a slogan if you don’t understand it or know someone who is personally affected by it. But I wanna be here to give you that common ground. I want to introduce you to someone that this current climate is affecting, is affecting deeply.
I want you to know that if, for some reason, you were to keep an ID in your pants pocket, your name is Fidel Castile. He was shot and killed when he reached for his license. He had a concealed carry weapon. He had a permit. The officer didn’t care. He was dead before he knew what had happened. This all happened in front of his daughter and his wife.
Do you keep anything that’s edible in your pockets, gum, snacks, candy? Your name is Trayvon Martin. You were killed while walking home from a convenience store after getting something to eat. From the police report, the guy who followed you said you were simply in the wrong neighborhood at the wrong time. You never got to call your mom when you got home. You never made it back.
Do you sleep in a bed at night? Are you not fearful of whether or not you’ll wake up? Anything that you keep in your nightstand? Your name is Breonna Taylor. You were killed just this year when a no-knock warrant on the wrong house came barging through your door. You were asleep, never knew what hit you.
Listen, I just wanna tell you that if, for some reason, I were ever to join this chorus of hashtags, if I were ever to become just another face on your screen, that I had a story.
So let’s share some common ground. I want you to know that if something were to ever happen to me, that my name was Egypt, that I was 22, that my favorite color is blue. My favorite TV show is “MASH,” but I could probably recite most episodes of, “SpongeBob” from memory.
My favorite band is Switchfoot, that I speak Chinese fluently and my favorite thing about that is the fact that I get to read the newspaper in the morning. My grandmother is one of my best friends and that I have been stuck on the same level of Super Mario Bros. for six months.
I play 23 instruments and I speak for a living. It’s something that I find to be incredibly hilarious, that I was a black life.
So I’m asking you, “Do you see me? Can you hear me? Can we agree that I matter?”