The tragedy of George Floyd’s death has rekindled a conversation about how we relate to and love one another as followers of Jesus of different colors & backgrounds. So much of what we’ve seen and heard seems hopeless, as though real progress just seems so far away. That every time we step forward, we take two steps back. Yet our thoughtful & passionate friend, the recording artist Mandisa, says she has real hope in these days.
“I honestly think that is the way this stronghold over our country is going to be broken – by having uncomfortable conversations. And, I dare to say, one-on-one conversations with people who look different than you. I really believe that is how.”
She believes having the courage to simply enter into and stay in the conversation can be a life-changing step.
“I love it when people post [support on social media], especially when it’s people who have a lighter shade of skin than I do. It means a lot to African-American brothers and sisters when they’re here with us. They support us. They understand. I just believe this is the kind of stronghold that is going to be more broken in coffee shops and in living rooms with people who can ask questions and be quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
“So that’s what’s on my heart, and that’s what I’m praying for in this season where, safe to say, it’s not really about the four walls of a church. It’s more about, ‘You are the church.’ I really believe that is a big lesson from this situation. It’s going to happen relationally with people more so than publicly on a large scale. It’s going to happen on a small scale.”
One of the most unique parts of what Mandisa does – albeit in a different way in this unprecedented 2020 – is that she’s praised and cheered night after night on stage for the musical talent she’s been given. Pride is a struggle for so many of us, but against that backdrop, how does she stay centered?
“I know that is the biggest trap of the enemy in my industry. Because we stand on the stage, and people are clapping and cheering. Telling us how great we are. So I think for musicians there will always be that temptation to think that we are all that. I make a concerted effort to bow myself as often as I can – to recognize that if Jesus was in very nature God, but did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, how much more should I recognize this is not about me? This is a forum He has given me to point people to Him.”
Mandisa is the powerhouse recording artist with a just-released new single, “You Keep Hope Alive” that resonates deeply in these days. She also released her brand new greatest hits record this spring titled Overcomer.