Matthew 27:24 So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.”

Whether it’s slavery or war or bullying in school or sexual harassment, no one likes to say, “I did it.” Embarrassed, we don’t want to own the fact that our actions—or lack thereof—might have created a situation in which people have been psychologically or physically injured. Our egos just can’t take it.

Ironically, though, when we fail to recognize our culpability, we also fail to find forgiveness and freedom. 

The granddaughter of a Klansman, I come from a family that once owned slaves. While I was not personally complicit in this history, I also have had to acknowledge that I, like so many other white Americans, have benefitted from a system that was evil. 

This knowledge may not be a weight around my neck, but it helps to keep me honest with myself. And it helps me see the wounds remaining to be healed. 

MOVING FORWARD: Are there difficult truths in your family or community that need to be acknowledged, so that healing can begin? How will you be active in that ministry of reconciliation?