On a recent Friday I was skipping out of work to join my brother in the city centre to see Hacksaw Ridge in the cinema, to celebrate the plus one addition to our family. I was already feeling very happy for the later days of that week even though there was a rough start to the week. But oh well, thank GOD for HIS never-ending ability to gracefully interrupt the lows and give reasons to smile and celebrate out of HIS forever love and peace! Thank YOU, GOD!!
Anyhoo, on my way out of work, I was saying my good nights to the cleaners as I walked past them. When I got to the third and penultimate one for the night, she stopped me. I was wondering what that was for but stop I did. She asked me to excuse her, and I gave her one of my excuse tickets for the day! Lol . . .
To be honest, I was wondering what she wanted to say but even my quick mind couldn’t fathom what she said next!
“Next time when you are sweeping the stairs, (while pointing to the stairs I just descended from), make sure you pack up the dirt at the bottom of the stairs.”
Whaaa?!!! My brain did not even have enough time to process what she had just said to see why she thought I was a cleaner. Yes, I am a black woman like the two other cleaners I’d passed, like her and like the one I was about to meet as I finally exited the building. But this was not the first time she was seeing me and why she would assume that was beyond me, at least in that moment.
Before she carried on to complete her cleaning instructions, I physically put my hands on my heart and declare quietly, calmly but confidently, “I AM NOT A CLEANER.”
I then started to walk away. She apologised, “Sister, I’m sorry. . . .”
I can’t remember if I responded but I continued my journey out. I had to physically smile, borderline laughter and tell myself I was not going to let this annoy me, steal my joy or rob my peace neither will I allow it negatively impact my identity of who I am in Christ or the value and worth I have based on WHOSE I am!
I thought she was being racist. Black on black, woman on woman. I still think it was racist.
As I walked to my car, I got out my phone and sent a voice note to my siblings. The thing do me like film-trick. By the time I got to the cinema, I’d forgotten about it till afterwards while walking back to the car park, I told my brother. I was of the opinion that it was a racist comment. He disagreed that the lady was just projecting the image of herself unto me.
I agreed with that as I too do that sometimes but still insisted it was racist explaining that my definition of racism was anything that skewed my actions or speech based on the ethnicity of someone.
We both agreed anyway that it was not worth losing any joy, peace, happiness or mental energy on. I then added it was going to be a blog post! Especially as earlier that day a pupil had called me a ‘weirdo’ because I chuckled and hissed at his ‘threats’ towards me of not doing his work.
If the devil was trying to attack my identity, value and worth in Christ, well, news flash, he’s fighting a lost battle as I know who I am in Christ. And that’s everyday becoming deeper and deeper entrenched in me and my perception of me. As I win these every day battles, that knowledge gets even deeper and deeper, realer and realer, truer and truer, rooted and more rooted.
Imagine if any time the enemy brought a thought to you in first person tense that did not line up with what you know GOD says and thinks about you, you outwardly declared, “I am not a liar“; “I am not weak“; “I am not a failure“; “I am the righteousness of GOD in Christ Jesus“; “I am the head and not the tail“; “I am dearly loved by GOD“; “I am fearfully and wonderfully made“; “I am accepted in the BELOVED“; and so on and so on.
If you need to, write down the verses from GOD’s Word that define your identity especially in the areas of your life that you may be weak, and keep declaring them – who you are, to yourself till you know that you know that you are those things and more!
To your firmer identity in Christ, . . .