So excited to share these words, written by Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros. She recollected a moment when her family was hit with racism. It occurred in the most unlikely of places. And it reminds me that even still, we must be reconcilers of LOVE ALONE. Because Christ is a spirit, and our skin tones should be the last thing we are judged by. A crucial story indeed. Please visit Cisneros Cafe and subscribe to her lovely words today..
Have you ever felt left out at church?
When I was a teen, my family sampled churches like one samples wine in small town Texas. My family and I were always trying to find a place to fit in.
I remember the time when we had rushed out of a church toward our car, our chests struggled from lack of air.
It was then that my grandma managed to heave her declaration, “Esa gente! Those people!”
She jolted her tissue around like a fisherman yanks their lake-line, when the snagged fish is too big to reel in.
Something about esa gente making fun of her crooked English. More hurt she was than angry.
“Don’t they know who God is?” She fought back tears, her words spilled over in Spanish.
That is the first time the church hurt me.
I would find we were not welcomed at many of these churches because we were not white.
And I blamed God because I had thought that “where two or more gathered” there He was supposed to be.
How could He be there and let them do that to us?
I placed my anger on a pedestal of pain.
Years later, I found myself sitting in a church, which would later become my home church.
You see, God always drew me back even if,
I rolled my eyes
stubbornly walked in the doors
and counted the minutes until the closing.
I was there because my heart could not be apart from Him.
God needed me to hear something after many years of hating the church for dividing me.
It blurred an image of Christians and I had idolized pain and offense.
The pastor uttered many words from the pulpit that morning, but the phrase that pierced through my very core was:
We were not meant to follow other Christians; we were meant to follow Christ.
Did you know that, friend? I cried on it for days. I had idolized the churchgoers because I let them hold so much of my heart. I disconnected from Jesus because of people.
God always welcomes us home like prodigal children. His ways are higher. His grace is sufficient. When we make people feel unwelcome because they are not like us, it sends the wrong image of whom God is. There is also a real danger in idolizing people and feelings.
Both are absent of the peace of Christ, which is the greatest blessing God gives us.
But he changes our name in the midst of the struggle; He casts us in a new light.
“Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” Genesis 32:28
So when I find myself digging up this past hurt, I bring myself to the beginning because there is no healing like the grace of our Savior.
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.” Genesis 28:15
I am Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros. I am a writer, poet, card maker, and creator of Cisneros Cafe. I love finding value in my mess. Grab your coffee, let’s go! Together, let’s shine God’s light on the mess.