Difference can be defined as a point or way in which people or things are not the same.

Romans 3:22-23 “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Years ago, I was engaged to someone that was from a different race. Honestly, he was a white man and I am a black woman. Our families were not totally accepting of our relationship. This difference put so much pressure on our relationship that almost daily, I felt like I had to defend him and he felt as if he had to defend me. We were always on edge, although we cared about each other. When we would go out, people would stare and it made me extremely uncomfortable.

One night, we decided to go to poetry night in the city. When we entered the room- I felt so uncomfortable…. I was the only black person in the room, everyone was staring, and it was almost as if the band stopped. That night I was led to express myself. I was so fed up with what I was experiencing in my relationship and then to walk into this room. I was done! Have you ever said enough is enough? The emotional me grabbed a few napkins and began to write. I just felt like I had to express myself.

Considering today is Martin Luther King Day, this post might be timely. I wrote a poem called “Is it Because I am Black!” Towards the end of the night- this is what I read….

It is Because I am Black?

You watch, you stare- eyes as a hawk as I enter the scene; as if my life is poor and I personally have no meaning.
Is it because I AM BLACK?

YOU denied me the job, although I was qualified for the interview. Should I blame my joblessness on procrastination or the full moon or was it the interviewer, which was YOU or
Is it because I AM BLACK?

You like my physical beauty, secretly; you offer to give me the world- In your eyes consisting of material things. You even offered me a six and a half carat diamond ring. Did you ever wonder why Maya Angelou’s caged bird sings? Because of those things……do you really want me….QUEEN…to bow down to your knees? Or
Is it because I AM BLACK?

So you have worked hard, for you are the President, Governor, CEO, The Boss, a lecture from an ivy League- Your life brings you top finances, you stay busy. But why do you continue to want me to be enslaved to the house cooking, cleaning, sewing, sexing- doing domestic duties?
So why do you continue to put me into this frenzy?
Is it because I AM BLACK?

You have lived in this world and throughout generations, through heirs, you have been GIVEN clout. Just think Martin Luther King, only dreamed, about forty years ago. Just because you still deny-I do not pout-
Yet YOU want MY BLACK A** OUT!
Is it because I AM BLACK?

And YOU on the street. YOU clutch your wallet, YOU hang tight to your purse, YOU even lock your car door!
Is it because I AM BLACK?

Years ago, we BOTH were born. Born into innocence as human beings! Why do you seek out to execute or persecute me? Why do you want my life to be torn?
Is it because I AM BLACK?

WHAT IS BLACK? Why do you define me at that? Look at me! I am a being! I have an identity! I am educated! I AM a person of integrity!

Though my outside seems dark, my character is defined as beauty!
I AM NOT YOUR MIRAGE of the ghetto- and I do not settle- for mediocrity.
My compassion is genuine, I am a servant! I give to White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Arabic, anybody that is in need.
You feel my spirit, my heart is clean. If I offend YOU because of my color, please forgive me.
But why do you continue to judge me?
Is…… it……. Because…… I……. AM BLACK?

I just want one chance in this land, the home of the free. Learn to place an ounce of confidence in me.
Help me fulfill a dream- by giving me an opportunity.

You do not always have to feel as though YOU will be under attack
STOP treating me differently

I read this piece and received a standing ovation. At the end of the night a few people came to me and apologized.

The message today is that someone might be different from you; however, as Christians we should truly commit to being Christ-like. We can choose love despite of one’s difference. Actually, God expects it!

Exercise: (Read this daily)

Dear GOD,

I am thankful for difference. God I ask that you give me the heart to have love for all mankind. Please help me to see you in everyone that I interact with and at moments in which I want to be persecutory towards others, please remind me that we have all fallen short of your glory. Lord, thank for your grace, mercy, and love.

Commit to the challenge. I DARE you.
~Lereca Monik