“We are beautifully different. But we are commonly human.”
One thing I love seeing is professional athletes using their platform to make a change in our world. It’s one of my favorite reasons to watch sports. One such athlete? Benjamin Watson. I promise it’s not just because he wears a Saints jersey (although BONUS INTERNET), but because he has done so much good in his community (he’s up for the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award this year) and his recent book once again shows this. It’s a topic that is vital for our country, especially with what’s happened in recent years.
Can it ever get better? This is the question Benjamin Watson is asking. In a country aflame with the fallout from the racial divide―in which Ferguson, Charleston, and the Confederate flag dominate the national news, daily seeming to rip the wounds open ever wider―is there hope for honest and healing conversation? For finally coming to understand each other on issues that are ultimately about so much more than black and white?
An NFL tight end for the New Orleans Saints and a widely read and followed commentator on social media, Watson has taken the Internet by storm with his remarkable insights about some of the most sensitive and charged topics of our day. Now, in Under Our Skin, Watson draws from his own life, his family legacy, and his role as a husband and father to sensitively examine both sides of the race debate and appeal to the power and possibility of faith as a step toward healing.
I think this needs to be required reading. With honesty, truth, and grace, Benjamin Watson has written a book that we need today in America. The issue of race is a difficult and awkward topic for many people, but I truly believe this is one of the best books on the topic.
There were many portions I really enjoyed and were thought-provoking (this book stems from his original Facebook post he wrote after the Ferguson decision was announced). I especially likes the stories of his Dad and Grandfathers. I loved hearing about how much his Dad impacted his life…especially since I feel the same way about mine.
One more reason I think this book is so important is it opens up discussion. It’s written with refreshing honesty and by sharing his experiences and his thoughts, he helps to pave the way to talk about race in America. It’s not a one-sided discussion and I loved that. Instead, it’s a discussion I truly believe we need more than ever. If we aren’t willing to talk to understand each other, how will healing ever come? This book provides the opportunity. As Watson points out, “Talking about these issues is the first step to understanding and healing.” I also agreed with and appreciated the thread of the Gospel. Jesus alone brings true healing.
“So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the gospel gives mankind hope.”
This is one of those books I also bought for my Kindle, so I can share it with folks easily and have it readily available. You know that’s when I love a book: I need an e-copy and a hard copy.
What recent nonfiction read has made an impact on you? Is there one you’re looking forward to reading this year?
(Thank you to Tyndale Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)