Sisterhood, Please

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By Chandra White-Cummings | Twitter: @ChandraWC

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Something’s missing. I’m tired. Why can’t we get it together?

That’s the sequence of thoughts that has cycled through my mind recently as I’ve observed the injustice, the conflict, the silence; and as I’ve read blog posts, tweets, rants, critiques, etc. ad infinitum. Usually, I sit from a comfortable distance and read others’ thoughts without commenting or responding. That’s where being tired comes in. But last week, I did respond. And lo and behold, someone responded back, asking me to elaborate. What the heck, I thought. Why not? Everyone else is putting their two cents in.

This is part of what I had to say on Twitter:

Non people-of-color in the kingdom of God must realize it’s not just about the evil that’s done. It’s also about the power of a unified kingdom response to that evil. More whites seem to at least acknowledge reality now but we’ve got to go all the way in the battle. Understand that you partially made Ferguson possible because we couldn’t interest you in our struggle when we’ve fought to live where we want, get an education for our kids, compete fairly for jobs to take care of our families, keep our kids safe. For heaven’s sake, we can’t even worship together!

Putting those thoughts out in cyberspace was like a tsunami that causes a massive tidal wave. I realized that something was troubling me from deep down within, underneath my contrived patience and forbearance, my perpetual efforts to see both sides of our collective story, and my groaning, frustrated prayers.

So here it is: I’m profoundly disappointed, disturbed, angry, puzzled and plain ticked off by Christian women’s failure to come together, to be a feminine, godly, unified witness against the massive atrocities and brutalities happening—more frequently with impunity—all over the globe. I want to see some sisterhood, dang it. And I want it yesterday.

I’m deeply entrenched in activism and advocacy, primarily through writing, regarding the black American community, Christian faith, and the intersection of the two. I know black American women from all over the United States. We tweet; we have conference calls; we commiserate. The black American experience is my life, and it’s important to me to be intimately familiar with all aspects of it.

But more and more, it’s not enough. Something’s missing, and it’s you—my Christian sisters. Whether you live in Tokyo, Brazil, Jamaica, Liberia, Istanbul, Rome, Quebec, Shanghai, New Zealand, or Ecquador—I want to know you better. A living, breathing, inconvenient, messy, and authentic sisterhood is my desire. Left to my own devices, I don’t like or want to need anyone. Not ever. For any reason. But I haven’t been left to my own devices. The Holy Spirit has come, and has abided: instructing, comforting, chiding, revealing, binding, and waiting. And now the fire has been lit and won’t go out.

We do realize that we’re family, right? We’re expected to love, care for, defend and protect, comfort, challenge, and encourage one another. It’s time to walk outside our tribal villages and live in the kingdom.

So, what would a renewed kingdom sisterhood look like in my eyes? Just a few thoughts:

  • Let’s take advantage of the internet’s reach. Find out what other Christian women around the world are experiencing and concerned about. We don’t need to rush to create a blog or campaign, or to write a book about it. Do it under the radar. Reach out to sisters elsewhere, and consider how to get involved. Or, simply enter into the world of sisters in a different neighborhood, village, city, borough, province, or town. The point is to join our lives in a tangible way to other sisters outside our normal circle.
  • Help each other guard against bitterness. When women are bitter, it affects us all.
  • Enter into each other’s joys, sorrows, suffering, grief, struggles, and victories.
  • Learn from and support each other in those areas that reflect our uniqueness as women: motherhood, women’s health, etc.
  • RESIST the pull of our tribe that insists we side with it even in its wrongs, insensitivities, and hypocrisies. Intentionally, visibly stand with our sisters, always upholding righteousness.
  • Verbalize affirmations of other women outside our tribe.
  • Participate in establishing a “kingdom sisterhood culture.”

We need each other. The world needs us.

What thoughts do you have about how we can more actively create sisterhood among us? 

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About Chandra:

ChandraChandra White-Cummings is a writer, teacher, and speaker who is passionate about making the word of God plain and showing off its relevance to believers and unbelievers alike. As the owner of CWC Media, she writes articles and coordinates and creates media projects designed to move people’s hearts, minds, and actions to new places of truth, hope, and service. Chandra is a columnist and writer for the award-winning UrbanFaith.com, an online magazine and community of culture, commentary, and conversation about today’s issues at the nexus of faith and color.

Chandra has raised two sons who have taught her more about faith, love, and prayer than the many sermons she’s heard in her lifetime. They are truly God’s gifts to her.

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