Be the Bridge: Pursuing God's Heart for Racial ReconciliationLaTasha MorrisonWaterBrook / 2019 / Trade Paperback$11.99 Retail:5 Stars Out Of 5 15 Reviews Video
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Moonglotexas5 Stars Out Of 5how to bring light into the worldOctober 27, 2019MoonglotexasQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"The truth is that each ethnicity reflects a unique aspect of God's image. No one tribe or group of people can adequately display the fullness of God." - From Be The Bridge by Latasha Morrison
Latasha Morrison, in her book Be The Book, shares her journey with racism highlighting key steps she's taken to find forgiveness and reconciliation. She reflects back on the trauma, discusses the present struggles and then tackles how we can work together going forward, in unity, all from Biblical perspective.
"In fact, Paul emphasized that unity can be found in diversity. We all have been given different gifts; we all are different parts of the same body. In the love of the family of God, we must become color brave, color caring, color honoring, and not color blind. We have to recognize the image of God in one another. We have to love despite, and even because of, our differences." - From Be The Bridge by Latasha Morrison
The book is broken into three parts and ten chapters. Part one, The Bridge to Lament, tackles the history of racism particularly focusing on America. Through the stories of those who lived through the slave trade, Latasha corrects perspectives on what happened, invites the reader to empathize with the suffering and then calls on us all to lament. To mourn, as fellow humans, the pain we inflicted on one another, asking God for His forgiveness. The stories are heartbreaking and hard to read, that such atrocities were a part of life is chilling. Latasha doesn't try and beat the reader with it but carefully illustrate a point. Using the Biblical stories to show how to lament on behalf of a community, of a people, she offers a way to grieve the past to bring healing whilst admitting the truth of what happened.
"Bridge builders don't deny hurt. They experience it. Sit in it. Feel it. But they don't stay in that pain. They don't allow those who've wounded them to control them or constantly drive them back to anger and resentment. Instead, they allow that pain to continually push them into forgiveness." - From Be The Bridge by Latasha Morrison
Part two, The Bridge to Confession and Forgiveness, discusses what roadblocks stop reconciliation, namely shame and guilt. The healing process is complex enough when it's in the present day but working through pain inflicted over centuries, indoctrinated into culture and used by those involved to continue the division of people feels overwhelming and bewildering. By giving voice to the struggles of all the sides of the problem, Latasha shines light, hope and understanding. Drawing on her own experiences, the discussions held in her Be The Bridge sessions, and the Bible, she walks the reader through how to work through these emotions to allow healing to begin. She continues onto forgiveness, how to receive it and give it.
Part three, The Bridge to Restorative Restoration, encourages the reader to action, to repentance, making amends and reconciliation. The suggestions made are practical, small and not intimidating. Latasha shares the positive changes she's seeing and instills hope in what can be acheived.
"But you can identify racial wrongs in the world around you and take one step toward making them right." - From Be The Bridge by Latasha Morrison
It is not an easy read, but in picking up Be The Bridge, I didn't expect it would be. Racism is so harmful, so dark, so divisive, my temptation is to hide from it and focus on the good in the world. Latasha's book reminded me why that isn't how we bring the light into the world, it isn't how we make things better.
"If this book serves to highlight just one truth, I hope it's that real beauty can come from the ashes of our country's history with racism." - From Be The Bridge by Latasha Morrison
Working through conflict, pursuing healing and truth, giving space to the stories of hurt and empathetically dealing with one another is part of the Christian life and Be The Bridge helped equip me to do this better, Jesus is referenced frequently to highlight how to live this out. I highly recommend it and it's a five out of five on the en-JOY-ment scale.
Jen5 Stars Out Of 5Get this book!October 23, 2019JenI highly recommend this book! This is a very important conversation and many of us are way behind in educating ourselves. Education is important but we also must step up and take action and not be passive.
Meg B.5 Stars Out Of 5Christian, curious about racial issues, but don't know where to start? Start here!October 21, 2019Meg B.Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5If you're a Christian who's curious about race and racial reconciliation, but you don't know where to start, START HERE and read this book! Latasha Morrison is compassionate, gentle, and will help you orient yourself in this conversation.
Here are a few aspects of the content I found meaningful.
| First, Morrison addresses topics like slavery, lynchings, and massacres including things I never learned in school. She made me realize how racial segregation in Christian churches; modern shootings of young innocent black lives; and disregard for Black history and culture in the Church are connected to our nation's past. This book gave me an opportunity to understand my place in history and ultimately, in God's great story of reconciling sinful humankind to Himself.
| Second, Morrison helps us see cultural roadblocks to reflecting the fullness of God's intent for the Church that we often aren't even aware of. She talks about the need to acknowledge, lament, and feel the weight of the shame and guilt of sins and evil committed by people like you and me (often our ancestors).
| Third, I was reminded how important lament and grief are in the Scriptures. And how often God called whole people groups, through prophets, to acknowledge colllective sin. Why? So they would not to repeat the past, and so they could be a counter-example of faithfulness and compassion not by just doing nothing, but by becoming a healing balm to wounds that remained open from past generations.
| Fourth, this book contains is a truly prophetic message of conviction and hope! Morrison is confident that through Jesus, the Church can be a witness of the reconciliation, diversity, justice, mercy, hope, and unity that mark God's kingdom before the eyes of a divided, bitter, tired world bent on retreating to only interacting with "our own."
I can't think of a book more necessary for the American Church in 2019.
Start here: Buy this book!
ANN5 Stars Out Of 5A commanding, loving, hopeful challengeOctober 16, 2019ANNQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Latasha's style is clear, compassionate, and compelling. Be the Bridge: Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation challenged me to reconsider what I learned about race relations and how I evaluated my own related actions. She is like a friend I trust holding up a mirror (gently and firmly challenging me to see the truth about my own perspective) and then handing me corrective glasses (to see the rest of my neighbors clearly). Though the focus is on her own experience as a Black American and that of those brought to this continent as slaves, she also introduces readers to the experiences of people of color outside the Black community as well her White friends in the context of racial reconciliation (and roadblocks to the same). She dispelled myths about the legal racist practices in our nation's history, including one that I heard often growing up about slaves being treated like loved family. "Family doesn't leave family in bondage," she corrects. She taught that the struggle for people of different ethnic backgrounds to live as neighbors is older than the words of the New Testament, which she uses to provide helpful, Christ-centered guidance. She is mindful of the contributions all people (not only majority culture) to perpetuate attitudes of bias. She makes powerful challenges to those who pray for God's kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as in heaven, reminding them that love of neighbor is paramount to that end. As a woman of color who has been on the giving and receiving end of racist attitude and remarks, I found Ms. Morrison's book to be powerfully helpful in making necessary changes in my own actions. She also gave me tools to move forward in strength and purposeful peace in a culture where racial reconciliation is not yet widely pursued. I strongly recommend this book to anyone looking for an intelligent, thoughtful, helpful perspective on the problem of poor race relations and the solution of reconciliation.
Grateful5 Stars Out Of 5Eye OpeningOctober 15, 2019GratefulQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This book was a learning experience in the best way. I have lived in relative ignorance, silence, and white privilege my entire life and it's time for me to change! I learned new and often disturbing facts in chapter after chapter. Latasha Morrison offers strength and forgiveness to the conversation as she reveals her own journey. She is the founder of the organization by the same name, Be the Bridge which is "committed to bringing the reconciliation power of the gospel to the racial divide in America." The subtitle of the book, "Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation" is a wake up call to the Christian church. Each chapter ends with questions for reflection and discussion and each section contains a liturgy that can be used with a group to perhaps formalize the commitment on the path of reconciliation.
Make no mistake, this may be personally challenging but may also be the most life changing book you read this year.