Though it has been weeks since the last terror attacks, our country is under turmoil. As dramatic as it sounds, I believe it is the truth. From those in power and everyday people, everyone still seems to be living within an extent of fear. I first realised this when I witnessed a man being ‘randomly’ searched at Grand Central Birmingham Station. The search was supposed to be random as many of the signs around the station stated, but I felt uncomfortable in knowing that a lot of those stopped fit a profile inspectors were looking for.

With everything that is happening, the terrorist attacks taking place and the lives being lost as though habitual; it’s easy to let fear and anger rule your heart. It’s easy to be hesitant to standing up for a stranger in the name of protecting ourselves. However, this is not the time for it. I’m not going to sit here and force anyone to feel as though they must form a bond of solidarity with those they do not feel comfortable with, but rather to remember love. Remember that love is irrespective. Black Sister’s Network is a network of Christian women. Women whom were saved through the love of Christ and the grace of God. That is why I relate with it and why I urge those who are a part of this network to consider my words.

Now is the time to show love to others. No one is asking you to create a space in your home for strangers, but rather be the outstretched arm they require in times of need. When I stood in that queue to exit the station and saw the man being searched as though he was a thief, I realised I refuse to be a part of the problem. I refuse to accommodate the conversations that include narratives such as “they are all the same” and “we should be careful of those who look like that”.

Psalm 1:1

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.

I may not have the same faith as Muslims, but I have the choice to either let that define how I act and treat them or let that encourage me to treat them with the same reverence that Christ treated those who were different from himself, even those who hated him. Whether I am silent when they need a voice or vocal when they can’t find theirs; I can make a difference. As simple as it is, I refuse to let any person, whatever faith, race or age be victimised in my presence. I might not always want to say something, but I’ve come to recognise that I must. Politics aside, I must speak out against injustice and stereotyping. Evil prevails when good men do nothing.

It matters not how cliché I sound right now, what I do know Is that no one deserves to live in fear of being attacked based on their appearance and beliefs. I urge you sisters, to pray for them, to look out for them and be present in their hour of need.  

I love my eyes being exposed to new sights and wonders. I’m huge fan of nature and photography and travelling enhances this as it enables me to capture moments that will never reoccur in the same way again. It solidifies my faith in my relationship with Christ Jesus. Allows me to be confident in saying He is the creator of my world and universe. – ‘Getting Out’ by Emmanuel Sanya

A lot of us like travelling, we love the idea of being in new countries, experiencing new things and making new memories. The love of travelling is part of our Christ like nature, whether it be geared for global ministration or seeing the beauty of the world. It is only when you are looking out of an airplane window at such high altitudes that you can truly think about the depth of God and his creativity. I truly believe that God is the greatest artist that there ever was and travelling has enabled me to see His art pieces up close and personal.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1

From my experiences and the experiences of friends, I’ve concluded that travelling does three things for a Christian.

One; you get to see just how creative and intricate God is. The time and detail that went into creating creation. From the happenings of nature and their adaptation to various environments, to the way the rivers and seas know their limits of flow, there is order to the chaos. If you only stay in your environment, you cannot truly say you understand God and the attention He put into the 6 days in which He created earth. How are you supposed to understand what the Bible says when it tells us that we have the ability ‘to move mountains’ when you’ve never seen a mountain in your life? How can you truly understand when God compared extent of the seeds of Abraham to the dusts of the earth and the stars in the sky when you’ve only ever lived in the city and never gone out to stare at the stars?

Two; you get to see just how diverse Christianity is. The church is not restricted to those who look just like you and the cultures you’ve seen around. There is so much more. Whilst travelling to Berlin, I found Christians who looked nothing like me with different cultures as myself, but who had just as strong a love for God as I did. It opened my eyes to the Church that Jesus wants to be establish, and also encouraged me to reach out to all likes of folks when sharing the gospel. When travelling to Kenya, I came in contact with ministers who worshipped God in their own language with their own melodies. It made me understand that God is a God of many. He didn’t give us one language but many and you are only limiting your understanding of Him if you only know His names in the language you grew up with. He is Elhaida, he is Adonai, and He is Yeshua. He has so many names in so many languages.

Three; it solidifies your faith and your relationship with God. God spoke to Abraham and said as far as your eyes can see that I have given you. If the whole earth has been given to us as an inheritance then we should at least get to see just how much it there is. The more you get to go out and see the world around you, ‘the more confident you are in saying He is the creator of my world and universe’.

If you have the privilege and opportunity to travel then go for it. It might be to a different country or to a different city, don’t be confined to what’s around you. There is so much to see and experience on this earth.

According to the 2016 PEW Research Centre, three-quarters of Facebook users and half of Instagram users access their accounts daily. TrackMaven also analysed 51 million posts from 40,000 different social media companies and found that Instagram had the most interactions on user’s posts, followed by Facebook and LinkedIn.

Now, when I first gave my life to Christ, social media did not have the momentum that it has today. Most people only had Facebook accounts but now that’s all changed.

My dilemma back then was how much I could be involved with my social accounts and remain an undiluted Christian. At the time I believed that a Christian could only be a Christian in person. An online Christian didn’t exist, after all,

Jesus does say in John 17:16 “they are not of the world, even as I am not of it”, then I would back up my argument with Romans 12:2 which tells us not to be conformed to this world. Basically, I believed Christianity meant segregation.

This mentality is subconsciously how many Christians still think and it can create very negative consequences. I felt as though getting involved on social media would mean that I was a conforming Christian; so I didn’t. I did something even worse. I separated myself and my identity in Christ every time I logged on. I would sign into Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and leave my Christ identity and my new life at the door. I didn’t even bother posting scriptures or anything of the like and if I posted a faith related post they were few and far between.

Essentially, social media did a quickie on me. By the time I realised how damaging social media had become for me, how comparison had come like a thief in the night and stolen my joy, I had to go back to God to recollect myself. However, social media was thriving and I knew that cutting myself off completely wasn’t the answer, so I turned to the Holy Spirit to guide me in navigating these platforms as a Christian. The result was a series of scriptures:

Mark 16:15 | Romans 1:16 | Matthew 5:14-16

These scriptures made me realise that everything I do should have an end goal – the sharing of the gospel. I’m God’s representative and I have a responsibility to be a bridge that gets others close to Christ. I came to understand that social media doesn’t just include the obvious sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even Snapchat; it also includes the likes of YouTube, blogs, and podcasts. Essentially any platform with content aimed at an external audience.

So why then can we not use our platforms to proclaim the gospel, to show what grace, mercy and the gift of life from God can do in a person’s life?

This may not be in full blown online ministry with blogs dedicated to scripture study and testimonials, it can also be something small that still has a vivid blessing in the audience it reaches. A particular example I love is a favourite YouTuber of mine called Jackie Aina, who runs a makeup and lifestyle channel with a following of one million plus subscribers. At the start of each of her videos, she puts a scripture. Whilst to some this may be small, I personally believe it has a great impact. With her videos receiving on average of 150K views, an average of at least 100K people are being exposed to the scriptures she posts at the beginning. Something like that could be the reason someone opens up their Bible for the first time in a long while and before you know it, they’ve spent some time with God.

Representation is important! There is something about seeing the makeup guru you love or the fashion blogger you follow being bold about their testimony with Jesus. It encourages you to also be as bold. If they can do it, I can do it too.

Also you never know on whose page you might be shown as a suggested user.

That’s why I love Black Sisters Network so much and everything we’re about. A platform specifically dedicated for Black Christian Women, changing the narrative that the Bible doesn’t care about women or minorities. It’s a flowing relationship between the three: our gender and race are complementary to our identity in Christ.

All things were created by God, so all things should work to glorify him.