I’m honored to be at fellow Redbud Heather’s Blog today talking about mentoring: the labor, its joys, and how it can be an effective tool for racial reconciliation:
How has mentoring transformed you—both being mentored, and mentoring others?
I was mentored by older women who had experienced bumps and cracks in their life, but had gotten up. They were healthy—I think that’s really important, because otherwise the relationships can be damaging.
These women were very clear about who they were in Christ Jesus. They were confident and had their sights set on Jesus; they weren’t trying to make me into someone else.
It was freeing and challenging to be in relationship with them. I didn’t feel pressure to be them, or to make the same life choices they’d made. But I had to think about how I would live as a Christian and as a woman.
Because of them, I grew into my womanhood. That was very transformative.
As a mentor, I find the relationships are very humbling. It is challenging, but I get great joy out of doing it.
I cringe inside every time I hear these words. In most instances, people utter them in an attempt to let me and all who are listening know that they are not racist or that they value people regardless of their race. But the statement itself devalues me as a person of color, and it does not foster the racial reconciliation and healing that is currently needed within our churches and the broader culture. I’ve had several questions come to mind after hearing the “I don’t see color” statement. Questions like, “Why not? What is it exactly that you are refusing to see? How would you feel if I said that I didn’t notice the fact that you were a man or woman?”
Perhaps more important than the answers to those rhetorical questions is the reality that we do see color. We acknowledge its beauty when we select fashion patterns. Colors contribute to our enjoyment of food. Color is one of the many things that we appreciate about nature and the changing of seasons. We all see color. So if we refuse to see color when we look at the eyes, hair, and skin of another person, we are inherently acknowledging that something is wrong about our gaze.
Why I picked up this book: This book was actually a gift from one of my associate pastors. I was excited to receive it because I’ve also been desiring to read more theological works written by women. I’m reading it on my Sabbath days and look forward to sharing it with the women from my mentoring ministry leadership team.
From the back cover: In Found in Him, Elyse Fitzpatrick explores the wonder of the incarnation and the glory of our union with Christ, offering us a sure path to ultimate acceptance and true belonging through the power of the gospel.