Hearts Broken Eyes Open Home

Welcome Sign

By Kristin Gifford

Date Posted Tuesday, September 1, 2020


You are welcome in this place. The being of my being welcomes you. You are welcome in the name of Christ, fully, completely, and as you are.
Today, my three-year-old Finn asked if he could make a sign to wear around his neck. He fumbled around with blue construction paper and tape for awhile before asking for help. I knelt down next to him on the floor with my magic marker and asked him what he wanted his sign to say. He looked up and replied: "Hi, George Floyd."
Then he stood, patiently, watching out the window, wearing his sign. After a while, he turned expectantly to me and said, "When will he be here?"
And I realized that in all my nervous, high-energy, Amazon-book-buying attempts to explain, show, teach racism and justice and equity to my child--I had missed this: he innately, purely, deeply understands what it means to be welcomed. He innately, purely, deeply understands how to welcome another.
Because all our spirits have known the deep welcome of God and long to hear that welcome resonated in all the spaces and places of our lives. Because this is love.
And in that same moment I was pierced with knowing that “unwelcome” is violently, physically real--centuries of barriers at a door, centuries of knees on necks, centuries of a deadly virus ready to coat any space. Spread by places and spaces and people who don’t even think they are sick. But racism is real. And this disease is ready to kill and crush and destroy and mutate.
The responsibility to protect the welcome of every single human being is on all of us, but it is particularly, especially upon the white bodies and places and spaces of power. The welcome must be genuine and obvious, hanging like a sign around your neck or in your front window, shouted through your actions and protests, displayed on your laws and policies, and resounding in every prayer.
You are welcome in this place. The being of my being welcomes you. You are welcome in the name of Christ, fully, completely, and as you are.

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