Living Significantly in a Racial World

by | Jun 26, 2020 | Blog

In your opinion what does it mean to live significantly? I will use portions of two poems I’ve penned to describe elements of living significantly. The first poem based on Jesus’ parable in Matthew 25:31-46 is about the separation of the sheep and the goats on Judgment Day. It’s about treating distressed people as if they were Jesus. This is still the great motivator for living significantly now. It means I let go of fears and judgments about others, believe that Jesus truly cares for me and the people I serve for his sake, and that God gifted me to serve others.

Jesus To Me

You are thirsty, hungry,
naked, sick, a stranger,
or prisoner, but you’re
seen as Jesus to me.

You aren’t wearing his threads,
still you’re Jesus to me.
You don’t speak his di-lect,
but you’re Jesus to me.

Jesus is so in you,
so present in your skin.
You are all who you are,
and still Jesus to me…..


The second poem is about Jesus coming back again. I believe that Jesus Christ is the final hope for our broken world.  Our country is broken racially, economically and health-wise.  Our country is inhabited by broken people. We are infected with spiritual viruses that attack faith, human dignity and mutual respect. In the poem I plead for Jesus’ help, return and divine justice.


Lord Jesus Come

Lord Jesus, come!
Come to my world
where you once dwelt.
Evil lurks still;
trouble holds sway;
sorrow plagues hearts.
I desire good,
but I’m broken
like our broken
world that needs you…..

Lord Jesus, come!
Come to the world
with your angels,
sounding the horn,
warning sinners:
the King now comes!
Justice rights wrong,
rebellion ends,
righteousness reigns,
and heaven sings.


The two poems develop different themes. The first one is about living today as Jesus’ friends who serve others in their times of need as if they were Jesus. We can’t serve everyone, but we can serve someone. We can enlist others to help so that we’re helping together, multiplying the caring and sharing. The second poem is a plea for Jesus to come back to the world he resided in before his death, resurrection and ascension. Our broken world was his world. We can’t make the world perfect, but we can live to make it kinder until he comes when untarnished justice will be administered.

We’re accountable for helping others and our hope is that Jesus will rectify the world. Hope is anticipating the perfect world that Jesus will inaugurate.  Living significantly is permeated with the hope that what we can see, and actively work for, will be perfectly inaugurated by Jesus Christ. We live significantly by helping others in our broken world and by pleading for Jesus Christ to come and implement what we can’t accomplish.

Until Jesus Christ does return, and knowing that he will administer God’s untarnished justice, we are responsible for living justly and righteously in all of our relationships regardless of racial and ethnic heritage. It isn’t easy as our country’s history shows and present circumstances reveal. One thing I’ve learned in our present day is that I don’t understand, or appreciate fully, the prejudice and biases that people of color have endured and live with today. I was reminded of a short course I took at Maryville College (TN) in 1971 called “Toward a Human Understanding.” Two other male students and I lived with the Rev. Carl Liggin’s African American family in Alcoa, TN for a couple of weeks to foster human understanding. I did grow in my understanding, but I still have much more room for greater understanding. So, I have to keep listening. One friend is posting letters to an imaginary “Mr. White” on Facebook to share his experiences with racism. They are helpful.

I can engage people of color with open-ended questions to invite them to share their experiences and counsel so I can grow in my understanding, mindset and behavior. An African American friend questioned me about not speaking up about the present crisis.  As a result of our conversation I asked an African American coworker how she was doing in the present situation. I also asked her how I could help in the present crisis.

Much more needs to be done to make our country’s ideal that all people being created equal by God a greater reality. It imperfectly motivated our country’s founding Fathers, so let’s take it upon ourselves to make it a better reality today. This is a necessity in living significantly in a racial world.





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