How “Woke” Became a Four-Letter Word

“Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:14b

“Sleepers Awake” by Johann Sebastian Bach performed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Andrew Litton on 14th August 2010

I don’t want to perpetuate the issue by including quotes by people condemning other people for being “woke” or acting self-satisfied for being – themselves- “woke” or accusing educators for trying to make students “woke.”

Being awake is a good thing in spiritual terms. I remember – after being raised in the Church from birth – that moment when something awakened in me and I understood who Jesus was in a new way. I remember – after reading Debby Irving’s Waking Up White realizing how little I knew about the laws of my own country and how they were different for people who didn’t look like me.

And now the term “woke” has become yet another weapon in the political lexicon much like “the war on Christmas” and “Black Lives Matter” and “Me-Too” and “White Privilege.”

“Waking up” to new ways of understanding the world is a good thing.

  • Once I didn’t know that Columbus didn’t discover America.
  • Once I’d never heard of The Tulsa Massacre of 1921.
  • Once I didn’t know that the Beatles were British. (Yes, I’m embarrassed about this. I thought everything awesome came from the USA. I’m sorry.)
  • Once I didn’t know that Black veterans did not benefit from the GI Bill after WW2 to pay for their education like White veterans.
  • Once I didn’t know that you can break your tailbone giving birth.
  • Once I didn’t know that I was allergic to oak leaves.

With each of these insights, I understood the world a little bit better. It doesn’t mean I’m smarter than you. It doesn’t mean I know everything. It’s part of life for new truths to be revealed by science or the Holy Spirit or a million other things.

Maybe I don’t understand you because I’m just not there yet. Maybe you don’t understand me for the same reason. I’ve been exposed to different things than you. You’ve experienced different things from me.

I happen to believe that God is the Constant and it’s God who reveals Truth to us. But we don’t all get the same messages at the same time.

So please don’t accuse me of being “woke” as if that’s a bad thing. And please don’t assume that because “you get it” that I never will. And let’s be gracious with each other. Political weaponization of words is evil.

Let’s wake up to the fact that God is love and we all have some work to do.

3 responses to “How “Woke” Became a Four-Letter Word

  1. Thank you for. It’s about time.


  2. One of your best!


  3. Pingback: Monday Musings, February 7, 2022 – Unreserved in the PWR

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