I have a problem with purses. I put too many items in them. And I get way too comfortable with them and then all of a sudden I’m pulling out old receipts, gum wrappers, coupons, stray kittens…
Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I do know that I have a tendency to pick things up along the way in life and get too busy to do a purge.
Every spring, we can see articles, videos online about getting fresh, organized and clutter-free for the season. But how about our own personal baggage? We all tend to hold on to not only material possessions that don’t have value anymore. We also hold onto the past. Sometimes it’s because of trauma, unresolved issues/past hurts, but it weighs us down. It keeps us from seeing things clearly. It reminds me of a song from singer Erykah Badu called “Bag Lady”:
Bag lady you gone hurt your back
Dragging all them bags like that
I guess nobody ever told you
All you must hold onto, is you, is you, is you
One day all them bags gon’ get in your way
One day all them bags gon’ get in your way
I said one day all them bags gon’ get in your way
One day all them bags gon’ get in your way, so pack light,
Pack light, mm, pack light, pack light, oh ooh
Bag lady you gon’ miss your bus
You can’t hurry up, ’cause you got too much stuff
How long will we carry on the baggage of the sin of our fathers without repentance? If we never examine what we’re carrying and let it go, we can’t prosper in peace.
I can’t count how many times I’ve read comments from people that say slavery was so long ago and to just get over it. But slavery was not the end of racism. Life is never that cut and dry. That didn’t end the thoughts and opinions that were ingrained in our culture for hundreds of years. It doesn’t go away. It’s a process. The conscience of this country was seared, made numb for centuries to unthinkable atrocities, and we are to believe that Emancipation Proclamation solved our race issues? It didn’t. If you want to read more about our history after slavery, you can read my post entitled “What If Racism Were Real?” here: https://bit.ly/2UIgSQj
If we stopped schlepping along with this abscess and actually treated our history as if it weren’t a sacred cow, we can make great progress in our world. The United States’ timeline is filled with great highs and lows. Just like our own lives, not everything from the past is pleasant, and some things are given to us by birthright. We didn’t start the problem, but it’s incumbent on the present generation to right wrongs. It’s okay to set the weight down and deal with, no matter how uncomfortable or awkward it starts off. Because we haven’t been dealing with race on a national level, we all are walking around untreated. It’s becoming a malignant cancer that metastasizing into the fabric of all of our lives. Do you wonder why you can’t get a rest about all the news stories tied to racism? Could it be that because we’ve let it go so unchecked, so unaddressed, that it’s infected our nation to the point that it has bled into our everyday lives? We’ve needed intervention for a long time. To stop. To heal. To amend. To grieve. To talk. I think God has been holding a mirror up to our nation and we’ve been turning our back on it and Him. But the fallout will not go away, and He knows that. But will we surrender our burden, pray to the Lord for help and let Him check our heart? He can show us what we can do to move forward — without the baggage.
“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Proverbs 28:13
“a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,” Ecclesiastes 3:6
“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” James 4:17
4 thoughts on “America, the Bag Lady”
Great work Tiffany.
How can I as one Christian individual help race relations? What baby steps do you suggest?
Thanks, Stephanie! I think first we have to acknowledge that we all have bias. Being self-aware helps you acknowledge we can all benefit with expanding our mindset. Pray to God to help you overcome the misconceptions you have of certain races. This link has lots of information and books for education: https://www.missioalliance.org/38-resources-help-church-start-discussing-race-today/ Consider joining a meetup, visiting a cultural event to connect with others outside your normal sphere. Even engaging in light conversation with someone with a different background. You never know what the Lord will do with just a chance interaction. 🙂
How insightful, thought provoking and RIGHT ON! I will start with my own examination and God as my Therapists. Thanks Tiffany.
Thanks so much, Raymond! Your support means a lot to me! I am glad I’m provoking you to examine yourself as you do for me as well.