Our founder and president, Richard “RichRel” Reliford has repeatedly said, “None of us has the solution to inequality, or it would’ve been implemented by now. And if you do have the answer, shame on you for keeping it to yourself.” He’s referencing the messy nature of the realm in which Mission1Race exists. We’re all stumbling around, attempting to make a difference in a very messy climate. Our world is complicated with deep emotion and pain that has been present for far too long. Let’s not be prideful as we move forward with what God has called us to do. It’s a mess, and the less pride we carry with us, the more reconciliation we will see.
I recently read a beautiful statement by Lysa Terkeurst, “[They] must be upside-down.” Yep, at first read, I thought it about as beautiful….er…. strange as you likely just did. Upside-down? What is good about that? She went on to describe the deep, indescribable beauty that swayed me into seeing the phrase as wonderful.
My friend, while it’s honorable to be polished and capable, those aren’t the qualities that will welcome others into our lives. It’s our imperfections that let others know it’s safe to be in relationship with us. We let them know that they aren’t the only imperfect ones. The messy, quirky, unpolished parts of us are what makes us relatable. When we admit we are real, others can be real with us. It’s only in raw admission of imperfection that our 8 principles can truly be experienced: understanding, forgiveness, relating, healing, connection, reconciliation, love, and ultimately action.
“Upside down are the perfect words for [someone] who will eventually land right side up, messy and marvelous and so very alive.” That’s what the M1R family wants more than anything else – to live our bruised, messy, upside-down lives alongside yours, growing in understanding of our unique sameness, and working towards everyone equally getting the love.
“Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt 6.9-10) Bring your redemption to the messiness of my own heart, so that I can live with the messiness that other’s bring. Allow realizations of your kingdom here with us now. Take my upside-down reality, transforming my falls and failures into right side up restoration. I love you, Lord – Help me in my efforts to become more loving.
1. Reliford, Richard J. Personal Communication, 2020.
2. Terkeurst, Lysa. It's Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered. Nashville: Nelson Books, 2018, pg. 217, 222.
3. Picture Credit: Day, Nicole. "Have a Sensory Kiddo? Help Them Calm Down By Hanging Upside Down." Scary Mommy. Last modified September 17, 2017. https://www.scarymommy.com/calm-down-by-hanging-upside-down/.