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Resiliency

Resiliency

A Lesson on Faith 

By Mitchell Powers 

Faith and spirituality are a source of strength and hope for many people of all backgrounds. However, people of color rely on faith to build a foundation for their resiliency against social hostility and the insidiousness of racism and oppression. [1]  

In recent dates there has been an increase in social hostility and racism. [2] Across the news there are accounts of grievous and hideous crimes against people of color. As of recently, several Black people have been among those mentioned. [3] For a person of color, life is difficult, complex, unique, and trying. However, despite the challenges, many people of color have not only held onto faith as a bedrock for their resilience, but have revealed a deeper, truer nature of faith. 

Several men and women of color have found church, spirituality, and religious involvement as a supportive institution for themselves and for their communities while facing adversity. [4] Additionally, in a group of 23 African American woman, eight themes arose in spirituality and coping amongst social adversity. Of those themes were “[being able to] define character and act within subjectively meaningful moral principles,” and “gain the insight and courage needed to engage in spiritual surrender,” as well as to “identify and grapple with existential questions and life lessons.” [5] 

The picture painted is that there is a refined faith that is being used in the resiliency of people of color, and it is that kind of faith we see in the radical stories of the Bible. It is that kind of “character-defining,” “moral,” and “encouraging” faith that gave Moses the ability to tell Pharoh, “Let my people go.” [6-7] It is that kind of faith that gave way to Abraham being the father of many nations, having in his lineage the savior of the world, and it is that kind of faith that led Martin Luther King Jr. to march from Selma to Montgomery. 

The march for peace never ends. Photo by ASWWU. Taken on 1/20/2020.

Deep in the heart of resilience there is faith. Faith for a brighter day, a better tomorrow, and for justice and equality to prevail. In the Christian worldview, our faith in Jesus is just that:  

See Also
Students worship in a coffee shop

Faith for a brighter day, a better tomorrow, and for justice and equality to prevail.  

Resiliency evokes faith and asks of faith to give 110%. The lesson on faith is not to only have it in times of immense hardship, but to reap its benefit and practice its way every day that no matter what trials we face; with faith, we shall overcome. 

References 

  1. Baxter K., Medlock M.M., Griffith E.E.H. (2019) Hope, Resilience, and African-American Spirituality. In Medlock M., Shtasel D., Trinh NH., Williams D. (Eds.), Racism and Psychiatry. Current Clinical Psychiatry. Humana Press, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-90197-8_8 
  1. Mangan, D. (2021, August 30). Hate crimes against Asian and Black people rise sharply in the U.S., FBI says. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/30/fbi-says-hate-crimes-against-asian-and-black-people-rise-in-the-us.html  
  1. Ibid. 
  1. Baxter K., Medlock M.M., Griffith E.E.H. (2019) Hope, Resilience, and African-American Spirituality. In Medlock M., Shtasel D., Trinh NH., Williams D. (Eds.), Racism and Psychiatry. Current Clinical Psychiatry. Humana Press, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-90197-8_8 
  1. Mattis, J. S. (2003, January 10). Religion and spirituality in the meaning–making and coping experiences of African American women: A qualitative analysis. Wiley Online Library. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1471-6402.t01-2-00070  
  1. Exodus 9:1 NIV. 
  1. Baxter K., Medlock M.M., Griffith E.E.H. (2019) Hope, Resilience, and African-American Spirituality. In Medlock M., Shtasel D., Trinh NH., Williams D. (Eds.), Racism and Psychiatry. Current Clinical Psychiatry. Humana Press, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-90197-8_8 
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