Visualize the stance of the long jump track star when she/he completes the soaring leap and lands heels first in the sandpit. That’s a perfectly succinct snapshot of the phrase, “dig your heels in.”

This phrase has negative and positive connotations. Negatively speaking, it is said with a sneer to denigrate persons for not being able to see options other than those that echo their own stance. Positively speaking, it is proclaimed with a steely posture to applaud a person for being resolute when doing the next “right” thing.

For the past few months and into my near future, I am resolutely “digging in my heels” to learn more about how to be an anti-racist. I’m putting my nose deep into the subject and ultra-focus on this task.  Just like the bumblebee that nose dives into a flower, sucks up the nectar, and then buzzes from one flower to another sharing of its garnered wealth, so it is with me. I want to concentrate on the essence of each author’s message on my reading and podcast list, suck up the knowledge, and pass it on to those in my personal space. Two sources that I recommend for starters are: How to be an Anti-racist, by Ibram X. Kendi, and the Seeing White Podcast, by Paul Kivel.

My prayer is that in my learning, I don’t “dig my heels in” to defend a position to which I already adhere but to “dig my heels in” to deepen my understanding of this systemic subject. I am learning that bigotry more broadly means to manipulate people into seeing others as the problem, instead of the policies that ensnare and enslave them.

I want to proclaim “liberation to the captives (me included), to preach sight to the blind,” and to evangelize those who are chained mentally, spiritually, and physically within my sphere of influence. 

Is your mind an echo chamber, or are you willing to open up?

Jesus said, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and the regaining of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed…”

Luke 4:18

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