My first response when I heard about Carolyn Bryant Donham admitting that she lied about her encounter with Emmit Till,”I have to pray on my spirit”. If you’re not aware of the story of Emmit Till was a 14 year old boy that was tortured, mutilated, and drowned in Mississippi in 1955 after being accused of whistling at a white woman Carolyn Bryant Donham. Hearing that she fabricated the story that caused my thoughts and ideas about white woman to resurface.
For a long time I’ve struggled with feeling like white women were mean, evil, spiteful, and dishonest. After reading Harriet Jacob’s, “Incidenents of the Life of a Slave Girl”and reading how the wives of slave masters would do mean and spiteful things to the slave women working in the house. Or watching Rosewood where a white woman lied on a black man causing one of the largest Massacres against black people in history. On top of watching movies where white women where mean and nasty towards their help; who was usually black, yet worked feverishly to be socialites. Not to mention the countless stories of white women accusing black men of rape sending them to prison only to find out they lied. Eventually I grew to dislike, distrust, and form ill feelings towards white women.
So here we are today, with so much hate and division going on this county with #45 as president. Knowing that 53% of white women voted for him despite his sexist, racist, and hateful speech and actions by the way. And the woman who caused the terrible death of Emmit Till decides to come clean some 50+ years. Not to mention I just saw Hidden Figures and had to watch a white woman be condescending towards a black women just because she didn’t want them to excel in their careers because they were black. Those feelings about white women began to resurface. I say resurface because they never fully went away I just fight hard to keep them buried down. And I immediately knew I had to pray on my spirit, because I refuse to become mean and hateful towards white women despite what I’ve seen.
Proverbs 4:23 says,”Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” If my heart is filled with hate towards white women then my actions towards them will be hateful. So I have to pray and ask God to check my heart so that I can be pleasing in His sight. Not only that but I don’t want my feelings towards white women to hinder me from building relationships with white women because of my preconceived notions about them.
What is it that you need to check your heart on? Remember checking your heart is not about the other person it’s about you. Being better is not just about vision boards, losing weight, and stopping bad habits. Being better is also about having a better heart, mind, and spirit and treating others around you better.
The best prayer for checking you heart is:
“Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you.”
Repeat it daily.