In honor of Black History Month, we’re sharing this spoken word piece written by Tega Faafa about being a Black girl in the church today.
I am a Black girl who loves Jesus and the church both deeply and fully.
I say that with full conviction, as I’m sure some will be curious as to why my blackness holds any weight to be in the same sentence as both Jesus and the church.
But it’s important that I begin with that so that my words hold the posture of my heart.
To be candid, I believe that we serve a Creator who cares deeply about His vessels as a whole. A God who delights in both the contents that are housed inside of me, coupled with the Container that envelops me.
This very Black skin that contains me tells a story that precedes my twenty-five years of life.
It tells the story of a people who have known both glory and pain.
A people who were forced to sit in the overly worn seat of bondage, so much so, that in many ways, it has an indention with Our figure on it.
It tells the story of a people who have been branded as beneath the bar for so long by a history that was written in fine point pen.
And the pen so finely scribbled the words “We the People” in desperate plea to be seen as people while simultaneously denying Black people the right to be
To be a person.
To be a human.
To be an image bearer.
This skin tells the story of a resiliency that reverberates through both physical and metaphorical walls.
A resiliency that continues to praise in pain.
A resiliency that continues to pray in persecution.
A resiliency that continues to paint a picture of the Perfect One even when our brushes, our paint, and our dignity are taken.
Although I read of a history written in pen, I’m reminded of an Eternity written in blood.
A blood that saw both my Container and contents.
A blood that saw my weaknesses.
A blood that saw my faults.
A blood that saw the glory that awaited me.
A blood that saw me, perfected.
A blood that saw and smiled gently at the Container He created and declared, “This is very good!”
In my black skin.
In my kinky hair.
In my wide nose.
In my large lips.
In my loud laugh.
And all of this holds high importance. Why?
As I walk through the threshold of the church, I’m reminded that my body is essential to the Body.
That my blackness tells a testimony of a faithful and safe God.
That even when the body of Christ has not acknowledged me, the eyes and ears of the Head have seen me, heard me, and declared me worthy.
And as a Black girl, often forgotten, this is a balm to my soul.
And as a Christian woman, as one who loves the church dearly and is well involved in her local church because of her love of the church, in love, I must ask:
Do you see me? Do you see others like me?
I don’t mean to have sight upon, but to see as He sees.
Have the scales fallen?
Have you removed the mud from your eyes?
Has the dysfunction gotten to you yet?
Bothered you? Disturbed you?
Should it not bother us that for so long, the Body has been operating in disunity with the Head?
Should it not bother us that it took a global pandemic, yet another execution of black women and men, and the cry of millions for the shift in the hearts of many to occur?
For us to see sin in its fullness.
For us to see injustice in its rawness.
For us to see the sting of death.
Are we, the church, finally uncomfortable?
Have we realized that partial submission is full disobedience?
Have we realized that our words without action inflict more pain?
Have we realized that a hardened heart makes for a closed mind?
Have we realized that we’re called to persistent reconciliation, not insistent division?
Have we realized that our feelings have fooled us into a fight against flesh and blood?
Are we finally awake?
Have we understood that we are to be called the church made up of Black, White, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, and every personhood in between?
And please, hear my heart.
As the body, if we, collectively, are not fighting for unity with the Head of the body, the Head of the Church, Jesus, what are we fighting for?
If we are not fighting for oneness, not to be confused with sameness, what are we fighting for?
If we are not fighting for compassion, for knowledge, for wisdom, for understanding, then what are we fighting for, church?
We must fight for and help the poor in spirit.
We must lift up and support the broken.
We must choose Jesus-type love, not worldly-type love.
We must love our neighbor as accurately and intentionally as we love self.
So again, I must say, I am a Black girl who loves Jesus and the church deeply and fully.
And even in the midst of imperfection, the church is as beautiful as ever.
Because we, the church, are loved by a God who delights in both the contents that are housed inside of us, coupled with the Container that envelops us.
And that delight is not based on perfection, but on sheer, unmerited love.
May that love spur us on to see one another with the clarity of the Father.
ABOUT TEGA FAAFA
Tega Faafa is the Brand Owner and Content Editor for Hyfi Students. She lives in the metro Atlanta, Georgia area and has worked with various churches, camps, and conferences as a teacher/speaker, spoken word artist, and host. Tega loves sharing with others how God is relevant to today’s culture, and how doing life with Jesus changes every part of our lives. Outside of ministry, Tega is a huge thrifter, loves fashion, podcasting, music, pop culture, TikTok, reading on her Kindle, and exquisite coffee! To follow up on what she’s up to, check out her website: tegafaafa.com.