BACA

 By Ta-ning Connai

By the time I got to my friend’s church, it was already in session. You could hear a pin drop as I tried to quietly squeeze myself through the congregation while scrambling towards that one empty seat. And before my butt could even hit the pews, the pastor decides to integrate me into his already scheduled program…”Yeah fellas, look out for these light skin girls strolling into church with their big curly hair, batting their big blue eyes, wearing their fly fur coats and them high heel boots. Uh huh, the devil is just trying to tempt you, and you gotta be strong because ya know they ain’t up to no good! Oh yes sir, you better watch yourself because all they gonna do is get you caught up! One look into they eyes and they gonna steal your heart and take you for everything you got! I’m telling you ladies you better get your life right, stop playing with God because he ain’t playing with you!”

I was stunned.

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Did this fool just try to call me out and then straight LIE on me???!!! Little did he know I was 10 years abstinent and any dude rolling up on me was finna meet my boyfriend Jesus! Then we talking 7 years in ministry and the most sold out soldier for Christ he’d ever seen in his life. And even with knowing the truth about myself, I felt so publicly humiliated. Honestly, even if I was a prostitute, what pastor would do this to someone? Don’t blame me just because I remind you of some high yella little girl that hurt your feelings in the 3rd grade! Needless to say, my friend KNEW not to ever invite me back.

Unfortunately, falling victim to constant misconceptions doesn’t keep me from sometimes dishing it out. Yeah, I have the nerve to do it too, more times than I’d like to admit. Just recently, I saw a picture online that had me kicking myself after I read the article. It was a picture of some bikers with full on leather and spiked gear, wild manes and full beards. Their tattoos looked like the kind you get when you’re in prison. As a matter of fact, they looked like they just escaped from Death Row! So, what am I supposed to think when they’re 20 deep, mobbed up in a parking lot? I’ll tell you what I thought…

Once they kill the guy they have hogtied in the garage, they’re gonna dump the body, go celebrate at the bar, get drunk, snatch some girls to dance with, break some glass and walk out without paying a dime. And who’s gonna stand in their way? NO ONE.

That’s some imagination I have isn’t it? Well, it turned out they are a Christian organization, Bikers Against Child Abuse, that puts on events for young children traumatized by abuse. Imagine my surprise (and embarrassment). Their loving kindness is changing hearts for Christ by breaking the mold of tradition and that is an awesomely unique witnessing tool for the kingdom of God.

~ But the Lord said to Samuel (as he went to choose the next king), “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7 ~

BACA doing outreach

Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover because our initial impression of people isn’t always the most accurate one. What we see is NOT always what we get because our eyes can play tricks on us. Especially now in this country when there’s so much division and it’s so easy to believe the worst about people. So how do we refrain from thinking we know what we think we know about people we don’t even know? Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the things our eyes cannot see. In the midst of God’s power, stereotypes are broken, judgments diminish and walls of condemnation start to fall. Eventually we will start to see the best in people and their limitless capabilities. We all deserve the benefit of the doubt, don’t we?

Are you guilty of judging people you don’t know?

TA-NING is a
former model and clothing designer who one day got the “call” to leave
the fab world of fashion behind. While in Bible College, she discovered
her knack for mixing her quirky style of writing with her gift to teach.
TA-NING’S TELL IT TUESDAY is a weekly column that uses doses of pop
culture to tear down the walls of churchy tradition, change the face of
Christianity, and present it’s message in a lively way. Ta-ning resides
in Santa Monica (by way of BK).

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