It began with a realization and a prayer.
During the last year, I realized that I do not have many friends of a different race (white) or culture (American) than me. At some point, I prayed something like, "God, please bring more people who are different than me into my life." Racial tension has been a large topic within the last year, and many of my classmates have spoken strongly about this issue on blogs or social media. I would excuse the issue by thinking that I didn't have anyone to relate to who was dealing with it. Therefore, I did not engage with it in conversation or action.
God answered this prayer by putting more men and women of different races and cultures in areas of my life this semester than I think I've ever interacted with before.
Last Wednesday in chapel, Pastors Derrick Rollerson and Mark Soderquist spoke about race and unity. It was humbling to listen to them confess weaknesses as black and white men serving inner-city Chicago together.
Because of the new friends that God has given me, I can no longer consider myself to be excluded from racial issues. The excuse that I had is gone. I'd rather not look my friends in the eyes one day and apologize for my inaction. I care about their lives.
Even if it's in ways that seem small, it's time for me to act.