Heal Us, Emmanuel- An Invitation for You

UPDATE 12/17/16- I really had great intentions of writing out some thoughts on this book and of starting a book club. Surprise surprise I haven’t had as much time as I hoped I would. I’m still reading this book at a snail’s pace- just wanted to update you. I still encourage you to grab the book and start the conversation in your own circles!

“Jesus says the dividing wall is coming down. It’s been up far too long. We grieve that we are so late to the party. We have finally arrived at the troubling conclusion that there is brokenness in the way that we value and treat one another on the basis of skin color. We praise God that he is patient and gracious with us as we slowly come around to the reality that so many of our neighbors, brothers, and sisters have known their entire lives. We pray that they would forgive our blindness to their suffering as we move forward, seeking to learn and grow toward racial reconciliation.”  – Rev. Dr. Irwiyn Ince and Rev. Doug Serven (Heal Us, Emmanuel)

 

The Disclaimer

Let me start out by saying- I had this great video invitation for you. And then I had a bad meeting with some editing software. Eventually, I had to choose between my sanity and having an angry mental breakdown because why isn’t editing software more intuitive for people like me who have zero technical intuition? I chose my sanity. So, my friends, here is a written invitation instead, because words I can do.

Also- the opinion on this book is my own. I do NOT receive anything should you desire to purchase this book. Don’t forget to check your local library first!

The Appeal

Several days ago I told you how it felt to be a black wife and mom to a black husband and black children right here in this time. I asked you to listen. I asked you to pray. And many of you said, “Okay”. Many of you said, “We care”. And many of you also responded with an appeal of your own. “How?” “What do we do?” “What is our next step?” “We want to do more, tell us what that looks like.”

I wasn’t ready for this appeal and I really did not have an answer beyond listen and pray.

Then one of you, yes a commenter on that first post, recommended a book, and even though it is not THE ANSWER, I think it is a great step!

The Book

Heal Us Emmanuel- A Call for Racial Reconciliation, Representation, and Unity in the Church

When this book was recommended, I quickly went online to research it more. I read the description and the reviews and it felt like a great starting place, so, after checking my local library for availability and finding none, I purchased it. I’m only through the intro and first chapter and I already feel excitement stirring in me. Maybe that’s hope stirring, too?

People, we NEED this book. We need the perspective it offers. We need the conversations it fosters. We need the healing it desires to promote. And the message of this book is so clearly, centrally focused on Jesus my heart was singing as I read the words. Don’t you see? There is always hope when God’s people come together to really hear HIS heart on an issue He most certainly is invested in. There is always progress when God’s people are mobilized and unified. There is always real change when we trade our own bias and prejudice of people for God’s unwavering truth that all are valued, all are cherished, all are loved. There is not a one of us who is dismissed, marginalized, or abandoned by God. There is not a one of us who should be dismissing, marginalizing, or abandoning others.

The Invitation

Will you read this book with me? Will you not only read it, but will you consider asking others in your circle to read it, to? Will you invite people who don’t look like you to join, too? Form a safe, (but maybe not always comfortable) space where you and your circle can talk about the things you are hearing in this book. Meet every week, or once a month or however frequently it works. Consider putting out some food, too. Food seems to help foster these types of conversations.

Listen to me, accept this invitation and I think you’ll see, with your very own eyes, walls coming down and unlikely friendships forming.  The stories you will learn, the perspective you will gain, the words you will say to each other and to God…goodness they could revive a hurting soul and awaken a love in you that you never knew was possible. Because I think, at some point, it could become less about every word on the page, and more about every person in your world. Doing this, reading this book, talking with people about the hard work of racial reconciliation, this could reconcile some things in your own heart, too. God let it be, in every single one of us, let it be.

Will you join me?

A Little Bit of Fun

If you’re accepting this invitation, will you let me know? Just tell me yes here, and then when you get your book, post a picture of yourself with your copy on Facebook or Instagram and make sure to tag me. You could even post a picture of your group when you start meeting, too! I’ll be doing the same. And of course, let me know how it’s going if you’d like to. Email me or message me your thoughts. I’ll be posting about things I’m learning from the book from time to time so please join the discussion!

A Whole Lot of Thanks

Thank you for listening. Thank you for praying. Thank you for considering this invitation.

xoxo Latrice

 

 

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9 Comments

  1. I just ordered my copy of Heal Us Emmanuel- A Call for Racial Reconciliation, Representation, and Unity in the Church. Thank you so much for sharing your heart!

  2. I recently read your article about the post you received on Facebook, regarding the recent cases of police killings of unarmed black men. It was articulated so well that it moved me to tears, since it is exactly what I have wandered myself. Which is why, many of the Christians in our community do not understand the sentiments of black people, who are living with the fear of police who respond to their feeling of a threat, with deadly force. Basically, the police are allowed to serve as judge, jury and executioner, without any accountability for their own potential mental health issues. Your brilliance with words is amazing and I plan to seek out more of your work to enjoy. Great job Latrice Ingram!!

  3. Thank you Latrice for inviting people into a journey through Heal Us Emmanuel! I pray that it will be a rich experience of joy, challenge, and a hopefulness rooted in the grandeur and purpose of God.

    1. Reverend Doctor Ince, thank you and the team so much for writing a book that we NEED so desperately. I am looking forward to what God will do through this important book.

  4. Latrice, I’d love to read it with you! Thanks for walking with us in this important topic. We also have a discussion group on Facebook if you’d like to post along the way there too. #healusemmanuel amen!

  5. I just finished reading Chapter 7 by Dr. Otis W. Pickett. (I actually read it two times and underlined and starred almost every point he made in the chapter). This spoke to my heart on such a deep level.

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