Alice Patterson is a dear friend whose love and grace never cease to amaze me. In light of everything that has been happening recently, I asked her if she would be willing to share some of the thoughts that she had shared with me with you, my dear readers. She graciously agreed. In a time of anger and division, Alice calls us to love. I pray that by the power of the Spirit we can all rise to that challenge.
Dear Sisters and Brothers:
Jen, my friend and sister-in-Christ, asked me to share with her members my thoughts on the recent events that are reverberating around this country and the world. I will start with a bit of background about me. My name is Alice, and I am a follower of Christ Jesus, and I am an American black woman.
May 25, 2020 will forever be a day of pain, anger, grief, despair, hopelessness, a feeling of not again, and will it ever end. It was the evening I watched a black man die an agonizing death, begging for his life at the hands of police officers.
A few days later, Jen reached out to console me, acknowledging the pain and discrimination I face on a continuous basis. But what touched my heart was that Jen was grieving with me. She recognized my suffering and, in doing so, became a fellow sufferer with me. My sister was sharing my pain.
I’d like to convey to you my feelings on that day. My heart is heavy because I and people who look like me are so hated by some that we have zero value as human beings. I will never understand the depths of their hate, and, many years ago, I gave up trying to understand their malice and contempt. That kind of hate is evil and nonsensical. God told me that I was “fearfully and wonderfully made”, and that His works are “marvelous.” God said it and that settles it. I am proud to be a black woman. I live with discrimination on a daily basis, but I have never let “them”—the evil haters—define who I am. Jesus has given me the greatest weapon against hate. LOVE. People who hate are always devising ways to divide and separate. It is only by the LOVE of Christ Jesus that evil does not prevail. I became emotional as I thought about the fact that because we, Jen and I, choose LOVE, we are friends for life. Satan wanted us to see the color of our skin to separate.
When I meet someone for the first time, I do see skin color—not as any type of deterrent, but as a benefit. I see skin color in terms of ethnicity since it factors into who we are. My life is enriched by my culturally diverse friends. I truly lament the untold number of wonderful friendships that could have been if people had not listened to the adversary’s lies. One of the devil’s greatest lies is that the world is made up of more than one race of people. And the world believed him. Believers and nonbelievers alike. He cultivated a lie so pernicious that man was able to enslave, oppress, discriminate, and hate others based upon the superiority of one “race” over another. The truth is that we are one human race. As believers, we know that we all trace our ancestry back to Adam and Eve. ONE GOD, ONE RACE.
So, let me get back to May 25, 2020. That day is remarkable because what Satan meant for evil God meant for good for all those who believe on the name of Jesus. Satan’s plan backfired. In all his evil, dark maliciousness, he said, “In broad daylight with people watching, pleading with me to stop, I can kill a black man. I can place my knee on George Floyd’s neck and watch him die. And I can get away with it because black lives don’t matter.” But God said to Satan, “NOT THIS TIME!” Satan’s deed was put on blast and woke the whole world. God put the spotlight on Satan’s evilness. The injustice that black Americans have decried for too many years could no longer be ignored, excused, disregarded or shrugged off. God had fully focused His high beam lights on this evil, and He is not turning the high beams off.
Jesus hates injustice, and He will destroy it. Oh, I know that the adversary won’t easily give up, but God has already won the war. As believers, we must have faith and believe in order to act in victory. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of this things hoped for the evidence of things not seen as yet.” God has equipped believers with everything we need to combat evil at every level until He returns to earth. Darkness can only be dispersed by light. We are God’s light. My question is what will you do with your light? As I told Jen, I can smile and continue to love because I am completely confident that Jesus will deal with every injustice that the world has perpetrated.
I’m just throwing this out there. I would love to have a conversation with anyone who wishes to do so via Zoom. (If you’re interested, just contact Jen through her contact page and she’ll let me know.) Nothing can change until and unless we are willing to dialogue in truth and love. Jen, thank you for allowing me your platform to speak. Love you.
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