The current sociopolitical climate, where untruths are allowed to go unchecked, unchallenged, and unsubstantiated, creates an environment that not only threatens people’s physical safety but also does violence to their sense of identity. Without a narrative that affirms all people as made in the image of God, some individuals in society will learn to live with and submit to the narrative of the oppressor or the oppressed that undermines their ability to reach their God-given potential. In his book Reconciliation, Catholic priest and theologian Robert Schreiter writes, “Violence tries to destroy the narratives that sustain people’s identities and substitute narratives of its own. These might be called ‘narratives of the lie,’ precisely because they are intended to negate the truth of a people’s own narratives.” He goes on to say, “It is only when we discover and embrace a redeeming narrative that we can be liberated from the lie’s seductive and sunning power.” This is our work as reconcilers. We must awaken this reality in society by offering a larger narrative to which people can connect and rebuild their story. However, we can’t do that if we stay locked inside our own little humanly manufactured palaces.
From “Becoming Brave: Finding The Courage To Pursue Racial Justice Now” by Brenda Salter McNeil – Brazos Press