I assure you it's not contagious. But it is deadly. It flows in my blood. It lurks in every cell. It is a bomb of sorts that may explode before my 36th birthday. And if left to do its damage, it will tick out the moments to an untimely painful death. It is breast cancer. Recently I found out that my risk of dying from it may be 80% or higher.
But the news is not all bad, my doctor tells me. Something can be done before breast cancer strikes me (as it did my 38 year old sister last year). If I do test positive for the gene that causes ovarian and breast cancer, then there
are treatments, courses of action. They are invasive, aggressive, but they'll improve my odds. I can't change the genes but I can outwit their inclination to wreak havoc. There's hope -- of sorts.
There are other parts of my genetic makeup that are unchangeable. They are the ones that make my lips wide, my nose wide, and my skin dark. They are not inherently life-ending. Left alone, no person had ever died from a wide nose, thick lips, or dark skin. But many people have been killed because of these traits. Why?
Why does white skin get favorable attention more often than not? Why does white skin cause the world to see its wearer as good, smart, and right? Why does black, brown, or red skin create a host of questions and negative assumptions about intelligence or intentions? Why, if it's only genetic material?
It boils down to Satan's lies. As the Christian community, it's our choice to turn racial differences from a curse into a blessing – the way our Creator intended. Outwit the enemy and this system of privilege he's worked into the fabric of our society. Equality is one way to turn the lie around. I think that Christ would have us to use equality on a heavenly level, not what the government legislated. II Corinthians 8:13-15 sets it out plainly. It should not be
that some have ease and others suffer but that 'he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack.' There's an accountability thing at work here (Luke 12:48) – to other members of the Body and ultimately to Christ.
Breast cancer looms over my family. Some other kind of cancer might be part of your legacy. The worst kind of cancer, I believe, is racial privilege. It distances man from man, and man from God. There is no cure. But there are treatments. Some of them may be as drastic as a mastectomy.