I snuck back on Twitter yesterday to read more about Andre Henry's story through his tweets and retweets. I was horrified and saddened to learn what Henry and others have experienced at RELEVANT. As the hours passed, RELEVANT's sins were splayed across the internet while more and more people came forward with their own stories about how they were treated and what they witnessed while working there.
I followed the story for a few hours on Saturday. I tweeted at RELEVANT advertisers--Saks Fifth Avenue, American Express, and Home Chef--with links to pertinent articles. I exchanged messages with Henry. I discussed the ordeal in a private Facebook group I'm a member of. After several hours, I deleted the tweets to advertisers because it was a Saturday afternoon and I thought they would respond better to emails on Monday morning. (I've been struggling with what Twitter should be used for and how it should be used which is one reason I've backed away from social media the past several weeks.)
This morning, I pulled up Twitter again and saw even more shocking developments that I probably shouldn't be so shocked by anymore.
I was on my sofa drinking coffee and stewing about how terrible this Christian publication's leadership is and how they try to appear to be something they aren't. How they try to be more relevant than they actually are.
Then a question came to my mind. Was it the Holy Spirit? My own conscience? Both? Whatever the source, I was faced with this question: How do you try to appear to be something you aren't?
So, now RELEVANT's sins are my sins. How do I appear to be for people of color? How do I appear to care about other important issues? How do I appear to be a certain version of myself? Do I have masks that I put on and take off depending on my audience and my circumstances?
These are the questions I need to process and answer. Recognizing my own sins doesn't take away RELEVANT's sins. Their actions should be exposed. The victims should be heard, believed, and supported. But I should also search my own soul and allow RELEVANT's actions to be a mirror that shows me the truth about myself, the sins I need to turn away from, and the transformation I need to beg God, by his grace, to provide.
Charlotte Donlon is a writer and the host of the Hope for the Lonely podcast. She longs for Christians to engage their faith in ways that hold space for joy and sorrow, belief and doubt, wholeness and brokenness. The best way to keep up with Charlotte and her work is through her email newsletter. You can subscribe here.