In a recent post I mentioned being irked about something I often notice in Ocala, my beloved hometown. And like any town it is only a town to love because of the people who live within its geographical boundaries. And when you see a town of people missing there opportunities to love and serve all of God’s creations you hurt for them as much as the ones you know are being left out. So I shared that perspective – https://reallyleah.com/2019/11/14/whats-missing/
Afterwards, I felt I had done my best to inspire those with the power to effect the way Ocala is presented and that those people would begin to be more inclusive of other races and nationalities, especially those who have long helped to make Ocala great. I clapped my hands together. Job well done, Ms. Taylor. You’ve been obedient. Now press on towards other advocacy work.
But I couldn’t rest. I knew something else was missing and that something had nothing to do with local lifestyle magazines. It had to do with prayer. My own. Again. And again.
Philippians 4:6 in NASB Bible states “Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.”
My concern for Ocala’s lack of diversity and inclusion is certainly a circumstance that needs addressing because hometown folks, progressives, and transients are whispering and whimpering about race matters and injustices but they won’t say it to the masses.
I have prayed about race and reconciliation in Ocala for decades now because I’ve always enjoyed close friendships with people of different races but sensed an uneasiness on the part of some of my white friends whenever the topic is broached. I won’t presume to understand why that is but I knew it was time to have my say on behalf of so many others – hence, the petition to God and man.
Then today on the Sabbath, I was reminded through this wonderfully empowering scripture to continue to pray and petition but to also give thanks to God. I had forgotten to do that part. So today, I am offering thanksgiving before God and man for His will being done in Ocala’s race relations.
It’s never good enough to pray and campaign alone. I need to maintain an expectation that my beloved Ocala will be different, reflecting positively all God’s children. That’s the faith part that brings things unseen to pass.
Perhaps you will join me in prayer and petition AND with thanksgiving, too. Sincerely,