God of mercy and justice, do You see me?
For I am overlooked.
My skin and story don’t fit what they want to see or hear.
They try to make me fit into a mold of what a "good Christian" is
At the expense of the parts that make me who I am.
It’s not that this is unprecedented. They did this to my ancestors before me.
Starting with the Spanish priest who forcibly took his hand-servant
- my great great grandmother for himself.
And all this was done in Your name.
The raping and the pillaging to rid the savages of their ways.
They did it in Your name and told us that if we followed their Jesus
We too could be saved.
How could You let this happen?
How could You let the beauty of the people You called
“Pilipino” - or the “chosen and fine” ones be violated in this way?
Oh God, of mercy and justice do You see me?
Because until this day, it seems that the people who claim You
Still don’t see me for who I am.
We’re told that black lives don’t matter.
Because all lives matter in Your sight.
But when they say this, they speak for You
And continue to not see those who are overlooked.
Preferring that we look and think just like them.
But You see us right, God?
You see me in my brown skin, just as You see those in black skin.
And know that it is not about the color but what the color represents.
You see beneath the white out that has erased our particularities -
The white out that has been written over, so we act more like them
And less like us.
But You called us not to be more like them.
You called us to be more like You.
And You of all persons would know, right, God?
Your son, a Galilean Jew born in apparent wedlock
Under the oppression of Roman rule.
His story is like the story of my ancestors
And those who have grown up oppressed.
There is so much to relate to and find comfort in.
But this is not the story we hear.
The particularities of Your racial and ethnic make-up are erased
And in place are more generic, abstract notions of a Savior.
But we can relate to You.
A Savior who embraced and did not reject his cultural specificities.
A Messiah who in the midst of colonial oppression did not lose hope.
A Son who rejected did not grow bitter.
I know You are a God who sees.
Not in black and white,
But in full color - in spectrums beyond our own.
Because to You, intricacy matters.
Because to You, the details of what makes a sunrise beautiful
Is not in the simple-ness or generic-ness of color
But in the richness and ability to see multiple hues and tones.
So God, make us a church who sees
Not in color-blinded ignorance
But with richness and specificity
To see the hurt and pain that hides beneath the surface.
To know that color is just a metaphor to help us understand
That beauty cannot be defined singularly by one group of people
Unknowingly erasing the beauty of someone else’s.
Help us see that when we fail to see color
We fail to know how to deeply love, just as You deeply love.
Help us to be a church who knows and responds to injustice
And is willing to give up privilege
For the sake sharing with one another -
In both pain and joy.
God, I know You are a God who sees.
You see me. You see us. You are not angry.
You are merciful and compassionate.
So I will be merciful and compassionate.
I will trust in Your ways.
I will walk in confidence knowing
That You are redeeming and restoring all things
And that the work of our hands in partnership with Yours
Is not in vain, but in movement towards Your promise.
The promise of the day, when we see like You –
Clearly - not dimly lit in a mirror. But seen and known -
Fully - just as we are fully seen and known.