Thursday in the First Week of Lent

by Sabra Brock

On Being Called a Racist

abstract art

On Saturday evening, I refused entry to a man who appeared to be lost to my apartment building. He was buzzed in by someone else, and we ended up sharing an elevator. In anger he called me a racist but also showed me the hurt that my action had caused him.

This experience makes me muse on how to discriminate between emulating Queen Esther and pray that God “turn his heart to hate the man who is fighting against us” and Jesus saying that for “everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” There certainly is a dynamic tension between these two readings for today. I think that in the Manhattan environment my action was justified, but I am left with a point to ponder about examining the cues I use to identify an “enemy.”

Perhaps the lesson is to always be open to reconsidering the humanity of one you’ve placed in the enemy class. And live with the guilt your actions, however right, cause pain to another human being.