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This I know to be True - a reflection from Christine Bor

In this time of loss and lament, the Northside Church family is offering poems, devotionals, Scripture, and personal reflections to challenge and encourage the body of Christ. We are grateful for each contributor's willingness to share, amid heavy-hearts and deep grief.  May our humble, imperfect, and vulnerable lament lead us to our Savior, and may His goodness, peace and comfort strengthen us for the work ahead. 

This I know to be true: God is the Defender of the weak and the fatherless, upholding the cause of the poor and oppressed. There is both a comfort and warning to be found in those words.

I have shed so many tears the past few days longing for the day that evil no longer feels so loud. For a corner to turn where the enormity of darkness is no longer debilitating as it attempts to quiet hope. And then I remember that I have no idea what it means to be Black in America because of my unique intersectionality. Although not White, I will never know what it feels like to experience the same discrimination as my Black brothers and sisters.

But I’m tired of graves being born from my silence, are you?

I write this to say that even I, too, a Taiwanese American female, must undergo open heart surgery of unlearning the anti-blackness that has ashamedly run rampant in my own heritage and culture. To fully confront the ways that I have been complicit in perpetuating racism, it will require me to have a posture of true repentance. And in so doing, this posture of repentance moves me towards a direction where both my declaration of words and actions align with an anti-racist agenda. I refuse to remain neutral or diplomatic about the racial and social injustices endured by our Black brothers and sisters for centuries because Jesus and justice go hand in hand.

I’m moved to tears when I think about how Jesus was the original protester who flipped tables and threw down in the temple in righteous anger. At the very least, Jesus staged a massive demonstration, a “holy riot,” to critique and disrupt unfair systems that were harming people that God loves. This is a God who holds both righteousness and justice in His hand.

And as I turn my eyes to my God, whom I believe is grieved more than the hurting hearts of the world combined, this is what I’d like to say to my Black brothers and sisters:

My Black brothers and sisters, I’m sorry that since birth you’ve been shaped and squished into a mold that was never made to properly hold you. I’m sorry that you were told that what comes naturally to you is flawed or not enough, and must be contained. I’m sorry that your strength is seen as a threat and your beauty is ignored. I’m sorry that your bodies hold scars that mine will never know but yet you are beautiful, resilient, radiant, wise, excellent, and more.

My Black brothers and sisters, I’m sorry you’ve held your head up through hatred, and violence, and tear gas so many times. I’m sorry that you’re still fighting a fight that has been unfairly rigged only to be told your anger is misplaced. I’m sorry you’re told your fear is invalid and your life is worth less than mine. I’m sorry that having a voice so powerful results in entire systems set in place to silence it.

My Black brothers and sisters, I’m sorry that you’ve been let down by those who claim to be allies, by those meant to protect you, and by those who claim they love you. I’m sorry that you’ve had to hear the futility of apologies that has been unmet with real lasting, impactful change.

My Black brothers and sisters, you must be so tired, so I will fight for and alongside you. I will love and celebrate you for who you are, made in God’s image. I will make space for you and promote your voice, while ensuring that my voice echoes your cries and aids in your fight. I will weep, grieve, and lament with you. I will be for you and not against you. Church family, will you do the same?

And this I know to be true: God is the Defender of the weak and the fatherless, upholding the cause of the poor and oppressed.

Northside Church of Richmond believes that all people are created in the image of God, and therefore, the gospel of Jesus should break down barriers of ethnicity, culture, socio-economic status, generation, and class (Eph 2:19-22). We desire our church body and leadership to include and reflect the diversity of the Northside with "every nation, tribe, people and language" being welcomed and celebrated (Rev 7:9). We are committed to the discipleship and Spirit-gifted ministry development of all church members from all backgrounds. We hold a strong commitment to justice in light of the country’s, city's, and church's racial history, and to honor our Northside community. 

Looking for resources on race and racial justice? We suggest beginning here: The ARC of Racial Justice, written by Pastor Matt Lorish

Learn more about Northside Church’s Mission and Vision here

Christine Bor has been a member at Northside for two months. What she enjoys about NCR is the community she's found that sees her, knows her, and loves her. She is currently pursuing her MSW at VCU with a specialization in Child and Adolescent Trauma.


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