A Kairos Moment

Now is the time to do your own work in order to come alongside of The Work.

Hi friends,

Right now, we find ourselves in a kairos moment, a moment when God is calling us to a particular purpose, a moment that demands holy outrage and righteous anger and loving action. The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many others have galvanized so many communities—and so many of us.

Like so many here in our Field Notes community, I have learned so much over the past few years as we have leaned into dismantling the ongoing stench of white supremacy, the ugly legacy of colonization, and the terrible endurance of unjust systems. And the truth is that this community here is overwhelmingly white AND overwhelmingly American in demographics. All of which means we have work to do. I have work to do as a white Canadian descended from settlers and I am - imperfectly - engaged in that work. You may have different work to do. But we all have work to do.

As I said above: kairos. Kairos is a Greek word that means “at the appointed time” or “the critical moment.” It is a moment in time, outside of chronological time, when God is at work. It can shift towards justice or injustice, towards goodness and peace or towards evil and cruelty. This feels like that moment to me. It is apocalyptic in the truest sense of the word, an unveiling, a revealing. This is a kairos moment for justice.

I cannot pretend to know everything about the history and context and experience in America. I am not American and to be frank, I am regularly baffled and infuriated by American evangelicals in particular. I’m not a leader in this lane and my voice isn’t one that should be centred. (After all, as I said above Canada is also racist and has a particularly heinous history of oppression with Indigenous people - again, my work to do.)

We need to be listening to and being led by people of colour particularly Black people right now – in our lives, on Twitter, in the news, in education, in poetry, in art, in literature, in politics, in faith. Listen. Learn. Follow. (This is a big reason why we have our Field Notes Book Club - we are placing our spiritual formation in the hands of BIPOC.)

So I want to point us as a community towards leaders and resources I trust implicitly, who have helped me to do my own work.Right now is not the time to turn towards every Black leader you ever knew and ask them to personally tutor you, they are busy. Now is the time to do your own work in order to come alongside of The Work.

With that in mind, here are just a few of the leaders and resources who have deeply formed me and lead me towards repentance, transformation, and justice.

I have been particularly formed by the leadership and friendship of Black women. Donate to them, hire them, take their courses, support them, pray for them, fund their work, buy their books, and centre their voices in your advocacy.

A couple of other books to add to the list that I found particularly transformative:

  • How to Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi

  • Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad (This is a workbook-type of read and if you wanted to form a book club with a few friends and work through it together, I would highly recommend that. I went through it last summer and still reference it often. This is good homework. Also it’s just $2.99 on Kindle right now.)

  • The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James Cone

  • Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman (We read Howard Thurman in 2019’s book club and that lead me to this work.)

  • Strength to Love by Martin Luther King Jr. (Another book club pic from 2019, I read most of this one out loud to myself so that I wouldn’t miss a single sentence of it.)

  • The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole (this is particularly about the experience of being Black in Canada)

  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

If you have any other resources you would like to share with us, please click through to the comments and share them.

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I want you to know that I am fully committed to anti-racism, to the cause of equity, and to the way of love.

We'll protest, grieve, lament, vote, give, show up for one another, stand in solidarity with our Black siblings, listen, learn, and do the work we've been called to do right now. I invite you to join in this work from where you are right now. It will be tiring. It will be long. It will require every discipline of hopefulness and faith you have and even then you will run out and God will be enough. You will need to learn to rest, to love others, to forgive, when to speak and when to remain silent, and to turn over tables.

And to pray. Pray. Pray. With your voice, when your spirit, with groans and tears, with your hands and your ears, with your mind and your feet. Without ceasing, pray. There is a time for everything under the sun: this is the appointed time.

This is a kairos moment. Don’t miss it. And don't settle for peacekeeping when we're called to peacemaking. 

Let justice roll down. Black lives matter.

Love S.

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(P.S. As a note, I have purposely made any book links Amazon Affiliate links even though we have our qualms with Amazon. This is because my plan is to donate any income generated from these clicks directly to Black creators and activists.)