Book Review of Be the Bridge by Latasha Morrison | Chapter 3 An Invitation to Empathize
The second step in the bridge to lament is to “acknowledge the harm and to lament it.” On page 49, Be the Bridge says, “The work of racial reconciliation requires us to acknowledge the harm and to lament it.”
What’s the difference between awareness and acknowledgment? Awareness is a state of being aware whereas acknowledgment is recognition or admission of something’s existence. For example, I can be aware of my sin of gossip aka know that I’m doing it every time I speak ill of someone without their knowledge, but I don’t acknowledge that sin until I confess to it or tell someone I am gossiping.
Is there anything wrong with acknowledging sin? No! We are called to confess sin to God and to those we have sinned against. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” Confession leads to the forgiveness of sins, which is part of salvation.
What SIN does Be the Bridge want us to confess?
Morrison uses her friend Deanna as an example of the power of acknowledgment and lament. On page 47, Morrison writes, “Deanna joined our online Be the Bridge community in 2015…She was challenged to address hidden sin and not continue perpetuating a family history of generational racism…she came willing to acknowledge and lament her family’s part in racial atrocities. She shared with the group that her grandfather Henry Alexander was a known foot soldier of the Ku Klux Klan in Montgomery, Alabama.”
The sin to be confessed is “hidden sin.” Because sin cannot be hidden from God, Morrison is referring to a sin not known to the person who committed it. In this case, Deanna’s hidden sin is “her family’s part in racial atrocities” or “generational racism.”