About the Author

Jesus writer by day. Mystery writer by night. Patricia Raybon, an award-winning Colorado author, writes on faith, race, and grace. Her debut historical mystery novel, "All That Is Secret," drops Oct. 5, 2021, from Tyndale. Join her on the journey at patriciaraybon.com.

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  1. Patricia,
    Thank you for your courage to speak honestly and from the heart. I’m not good at being phony either and I prefer being upfront with people. I have found that when I allow myself to be vulnerable then I invite others to be vulnerable too. That being said, it really troubles my heart where our country is with race relations. It seems we’ve taken some big steps backwards. It saddens me that there is still so much fear because people won’t step across the line and dare to get to know somebody. When my daughter was dating a very kind, young, black man, people (including certain family members) asked me, “Aren’t you concerned she’s dating someone who’s black?” Some were a little more adamant with their wording as in, “I can’t believe you’re letting her date a black boy.” My response to them was, “Actually, my first concern was, is he a Christ follower?” And I meant it. It really took me back the questions I was asked and advice that was given. I don’t know how far we’ve progressed since then?? I echo your thoughts in just keep continuing to be like Jesus. Model His ways and pray that this world of ours will follow suit. Thanks for speaking openly and inviting dialog.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • I also like to be real. Some people can’t tolerate that, but I just can’t be phony.
      My family can be very judgmental and harsh about anything I or my children do. I am trying hard to love them anyway.
      I have trouble with the shallow conversation of today; gossip about others and ridicule. Let’s go deeper, let’s be real, let’s listen to our brothers and sisters (we are all one body) with kindness and real love. Let’s not be one who can’t bother to have empathy, so just don’t want to hear what’s troubling a friend. Lets look at what’s going on in the world, and see how WE can bring about change!

      • So agree with you, RC. It takes extra effort to listen and share with love. May the Lord keep showing us how. It’s a journey. So grateful He walks ahead of us, leading the way. Thanks for showing your willingness to walk with Him — being real, loving and brave. Many thanks for your comment today. I’m grateful we connected!

        • Patricia – your words are so good, so pure and filled with love. I could read your comments every day. Please know though, that I am the crazy white woman who has always loved black people. I find your culture open and giving and maybe it is because you have been surrounded by a lot of white people who are the opposite. All my life, given any chance to sit down by a black person at church, in a restaurant, a concert or in a park – I am going for the black sister who always smiles bigger, laughs harder and says hello faster than anyone else. You have a blessed race and yes, our country is a mess but just know there are white women out here pushing against the hate and the racism. With God all things are possible and we can beat this – I just know we can!

      • Patricia,
        You make me listen because you present truth from a vulnerable place. It’s compelling!

        I am also burdened with the lack of real in relationships. Maybe it’s sleepiness. Maybe it’s fear. It needs to change for Christian women on every level.

        keep writing!
        I’m listening!
        And THANK YOU!!!
        (Love ya!)

    • Thanks so much, Bev. I deeply appreciate your comment. There’s probably not a single family in America not impacted in some way by our nation’s unresolved race problem. Thank you for understanding my heart for talking about it. In church, yesterday, I got a reminder for how to it from our pastor’s sermon on speaking truth — but with love. May God help us as believers to show that love to the world, including to family members. It’s a journey, but God is going before us. So grateful for His love, and for yours! Blessings and kindest thanks. I’m grateful for you.

    • I’m the white mother-in-law with the kindest daughter-in-love from St. Kitts, who has been an instigator for family time and making memories with photos and bearing two of the sweetest girls I’ve ever known. I’m fortunate because my church believes that diversity is awesome and we strive to get to know people and base our friendships on what we see inside rather than on the outside. I would encourage you to keep sharing your heart! There will always be people who will not understand, but we’re only responsible to listen to God’s heart and love like He does. For you’re right, true love is the only thing that will bring us together. ❤

      • Thanks for sharing, Betty. Your daughter-in-law sounds like a gem! Your church, too. (Also your sweet grandchildren!) Thank you, meantime, Betty, for your wonderful encouragement — to keep sharing. Not everyone is on board with cross-cultural dialogue. For those who are, however, I’m so grateful for their willingness. From there, God can guide and heal. So grateful, Betty, to join with you and others as we follow Him!

    • So true, but the problem is political correctness. People need to express what’s in their hearts and what’s on their minds. Talking only among like minded people never challenges one’s way of thinking. I WISH we could all have frank discussions about race but it will involve some insults and hurt feelings. Debates often end in shouting matches. What I would love to see is a public conversation on particular issues, say, Black Lives Matter divided in 3 parts. One side, with sympathetic (not insulting) questions, the other side with sympathetic questions, and a summation with what one side has learned from the other.

      • Interesting idea, Judith! And you are right. Just “preaching to the choir” doesn’t read those reluctant to talk. But it’s a start. I’m so grateful to see a willingness here at (in)courage, among many today, to listen and share. From those connections, God can heal and move!

      • Also, Judith, one other comment about the Black Lives Matter movement. I’m still surprised at the pushback at a group trying to raise awareness of excessive forced used against unarmed black citizens. As I understand their message, their slogan simply means that, among all of our lives in America, black lives matter, too. Many struggled to understand that. Maybe the group didn’t convey their viewpoint as well as they could’ve. Either way, sharing our stories helps us move past these confusions. God help us, as you say, to sit down and talk these things out. Thanks again for commenting.

        • How true Patricia! My nephew is a police officer and every time this subject comes up he says blue lives matter too. Cops are defensive. No person admits he is a racist. However I mentioned that there exists a double standard in the way black and white communities are policed. This he agreed with! Now what can we do to change this situation? Perhaps police officers can be trained differently. Discussions on all racial topics need to happen. What is self evident to one group due to their experience is not evident to another group. And I often use the term “double standard.” People aren’t afraid of that term.

          • Judith, that IS a great term! Double standard. That sounds so much less threatening. In that way, it gives people a way to enter a race discussion without fighting. And policing is just one part of the issue at hand. I’m grateful for your insight on this, and for sharing your wisdom with your nephew — and also here. I’ve been worried this was a “wrong” topic for (in)courage, but commends like yours convince me it’s not only right — but perhaps past due. Thanks so much for blessing the dialogue.

          • Thank you Patricia! I’ve read a couple of your beautiful books and what a gifted writer you are! With your courage and your wonderful way with words I believe you may help start a movement. I’ve heard it said that “God rewards courage,” so good luck with your work on (in)courage!

  2. I love that Jesus in his short three years of ministry reached across race and gender lines over and over again. And some say the Bible isn’t current or relevant now. It continues to be the best model for how we should treat others.

  3. Thank you Patricia! I’m a young mom teaching my toddler to call other kids he meets “friend” bc I want him to give everyone a chance and think with an open mindset, regardless of race, gender, etc. I try to model the way too. We live in a crazy world, and I’m grateful for writers like you who present this truth, and biblically, so eloquently.

    • Thank you for your honesty. I am a white woman with biracial grandchildren and love them just as much as my other grandchildren but can relate to all your concerns. I think it awesome that you opened up this dialogue. Thank you for your honesty and God bless you.

      • Blessings on you in return, Sharon, for your kind comment. As followers of Christ, we can talk about these concerns because He goes before us — and He helps us. (And nothing’s too hard for Him!) May He bless you and your family as you show by your love for each other that He is the greatest Love of all. So grateful to connect with you today.

    • What a wonderful lesson to teach your son, Andrea. Great example for adults, too. Start out as “friends.” May God open our minds and hearts in this, His way. Thanks so much for sharing this! With love, Patricia

  4. You know what’s funny? Although your post is about race relations, the reason I said, “I thought I was the only one” is your sharing that after 41yrs of marriage you and your husband just started praying together. I just celebrated 26yrs of marriage and we keep talking about the need to create a habit of praying together but we have yet to start.
    Of course being biracial myself, racial tensions is something I’ve dealt with my whole life so that part is not new to me. You never know what part of your sharing will help others. Funny, huh?

    • Love this, Denetta! Yes, you never know what part of sharing will help. Our job is to be open and honest, then let God work. Once, years ago, when I spoke at a high school, as everyone was leaving after it was over, a school janitor — an older woman — came up to me with tears running down her face, thanking me for my comments. I didn’t even know she was there listening. So you’re so right. We never know who’s listening or how God uses what He leads us to say. May He help us to be sensitive to that reality, especially when we “think” we’re talking about race. May He be glorified in our conversations. Thanks so much for sharing today!

  5. Patricia, thank you for being so “real” in your teaching! I do think that the real test of true friends is when they love us even when they know our story. Jesus, loves us that way. This scripture was used in our Pastor’s sermon yesterday relating to how Jesus loved us all so much (still does!): John 2:24-25 New International Version (NIV)
    24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.

    • Nancy, thank you for sharing this. I join with you (and your pastor) in thanking the Lord for knowing our whole story, but still loving us. Yes, Jesus loves me. May He keep teaching us how to love each other in the same way. I’m challenged by this almost every day. May He keep showing us how to be each other’s real friends. The world needs this example! Blessings today and sincere thanks for connecting. I’m grateful to know you!

  6. Patricia,
    I’m always looking for new friends and you’ve found one right here, if you’ll have me?! Real friends talk about real issues. I’m biracial my mother is from India and my father is Australian and his parents, one was Irish and one Scottish. I myself have married a Kiwi (New Zealander), my three children are New Zealanders (born in NZ) and they all have some percentage of Maori heritage from the Ngai Tahu tribe. To me I’ve always been proud of my mixed race and the richness of each culture melting in me and my children. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had remarks over the years, and had some teasing etc growing up but it’s made me insanely passionate to stamp out racist slurs or correct ignorance to difference when I see it. My father received some comments when he went to India in his 30’s met my mother and they wrote for two years and he sponsored her out to Australia and married her. Our world today is way more inclusive and way more ‘mixed’. I’m sure that’s different in each country but I’d like to think everyone has a way of seeing the beauty and just need to open their eyes. Intercultural relationships are everywhere. I’m doing a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies and I am under no illusion that racism and interracial conflict does not occur in our world I just have always thought and hope the good outweighs the bad, acceptance of difference outweighs rejection. I’m not sure if this is coming out clearly as I’m typing this on my phone…but Our God loves us all and we are to be like him and love and accept everybody. As my mother always told me it’s whats on the inside that counts not the exterior. I hope you enjoyed your movie with your son in law and grandkids. Much love and I look forward to reading more of your posts!
    Jas

    • Jas, thank you for sharing! Your family tapestry is amazing. I agree that intercultural relationships are beautiful. There’s so much to learn from each other, especially since the Bible says that in Heaven will see “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9). To those who allow it, we get practice on Earth for this Heavenly time. May God bless your personal witness for the beauty of this experience. Blessings also, Jas, on your studies on peace and conflict studies. Your comments reflect such an open-hearted spirit. May the Lord bless your preparation to serve Him in this arena. Excited for you! Thanks for reaching out today as a new friend. I’m reaching back with His love! Peace and blessings today, Patricia

  7. Thank you for writing this post. I am a white woman married to a black man and the tension and hatred we experience each time we go out in public together is frustrating and overwhelming.

    • Beth, I’m so grateful this blog post ministered to you today. Racial hatred is real and so hurtful — even more so when you’re discouraged from talking about it. Or when people refuse to acknowledge or heart your pain. Or deny that it’s real. May God heal your hurt as He delivers our nation and world from this scourge. Meantime, may He show us how to love. May you and your husband experience that love, especially from others, on this day. I remind myself to look for those kind moments and kind people in my day, and focus less on those who hurt. May the Lord bless you today in the same way! Much peace and love, Patricia

  8. Oh, Patricia. How I love your heart for God and your heart for His people. Your honesty and vulnerability are exactly what’s needed, not only here on (in)courage, but everywhere in our broken world. Thank you for speaking the truth in love, my sister. You do it so well.

    • Wonderful Liz, your encouragement blesses me beyond words. This calling — to speak the truth in love, even when the truth is about racial healing — is not easy. So many ears are closed. Your kind words make it easier, however. Thank you for affirming and understanding. May God keep opening this door and helping us all to heal. Thank you, meantime, for inspiring. I’m so grateful for you.

    • I will just say a big AMEN to both Patricia’s and Liz’s post 🙂 LOVE!!!

  9. Thank you, Patricia, for not only thinking about it and talking about it , but for writing about it with such sensitivity and beautiful truth. So many of us depend upon the voices of those who are living within the tension to really understand.

    • Appreciate your feedback so much, Michele. Yes, it’s a hard calling — thinking, talking AND writing about race matters. Thanks so much for understanding that and affirming efforts to answer the call and walk in it. Your support eases the way! Peace and love today, Patricia

  10. Beth, that breaks my heart. Hugs to you and blessings upon your marriage.

    Patricia, I say YES to loving and liking, and listening…

    Thank you for stepping out with courage to write that wonderful post, my sister.

    • Thank you so much, Nancy. I appreciate your kind feedback and understanding. Means SO much. Peace and blessings on this journey! With love, Patricia

  11. Patricia, I so appreciate your message this morning! And your transparency and vulnerability. Thank you for sharing your heart! And starting a much-needed conversation. Your message is just what’s needed!

    • Your positive feedback is so encouraging, Kathy. I struggle sometimes to write about hard things. But God keeps sending me out there! Thank you so much for your kind words. Much appreciated! Warmest regards, Patricia

  12. Hi Patricia,
    As a fifty-something African-American woman who has been blessed by the Encourage community, but has not seen many of the writers who look like me, I just want to thank you for your presence. I also want to thank you for your trsnsperancy, honesty, love, and Christlikeness in writing today’s post. I believe that we as Christians have a duty to speak about race when no one else is and that our voices should be the loudest!
    Please continue to speak truth without fear!!
    Peace and grace,
    Terri

    • Sincere thanks, dear Terri! I deeply appreciate your feedback. As an African American contributor, who feels led to raise some issues that others might not, I feel obligated to speak in love, but share real truth. As believers we can tackle tough topics in Christ, if we’re willing — and with His help. Thanks so much for affirming my effort here today. Your response encourages me to keep writing and serving. Onward for Christ! With His love, Patricia

  13. Patricia,
    Thank you for your honesty and being real about racial tensions in our culture. When I was in high school I net and fell in love with the most wonderful biracial man…We dated throughout high school and had plans to go to college and marry. When my father met him he told me that because of his race I could not date him and he was not allowed at our house. I had to choose my family or my boyfriend and chose my family. This was 30 years ago but unfortunately these situations still occur today. I’ve raised my children to see people not color and that we are all one people created by God.
    Keep speaking truth.
    Sue

    • Sue, your story just grips my heart. Our parents, back then, were often trapped by their racial fears. But also their racial hurts. What a sad history we’ve shared and struggled over when it comes to race matters. May God bless us to love across the color line — to not be blind to color, but to understand it as a beautiful God-given gift. Then may He help us heal. God bless you for already joining with Him in this important ministry of loving one another. Your children are blessed by your sensitivity and love. Many blessings on your kindness and courage! With His love, Patricia

  14. Real issues and mind sets affect all of us today, one way or another. Sadly we are not responsible for the way others think or behave. As people who love God are called to love others and not judge. The world is a mixed pot of cultures and whatever ours is, we cannot change it. Actually we are all part of one another tracing back to the beginning of time. Still there is persecution still happening, and it has an evil hand in it. We must rise above all if it, looking to the love and grace from our heavenly Father, our Amazing Lord’s Grace, and the consistent help of the Holy Spirit.
    WWJD? That thought governs my thoughts more and more.
    He would do what’s right, He would honor His Father, He leads us in the paths if righteousness. And above all, is a kind friend.
    We keep growing in His likeness, day by day. We need to be gentle with ourselves, and in our loving Him, love ourselves, and others. That’s what we shall teach our children.

    • So well said, Lynn. Yes, be gentle with ourselves and in loving Him and others. What gracious wisdom. Thank you so much for sharing this today. So needed. Peace and sincere thanks, Patricia

  15. Thank you Patricia for being here and being brave. I’m part of an interracial (or multiethnic as your fellow new contributor Lucretia Berry likes to call it) family as well. We adopted our son from South Africa a year and a half ago. Before the adoption, my white blinders were taken off as I started to read and understand how awful race relations are in this country. I’ve been doing what I can in my church by helping start a class to build friendships and have real conversations about race between our church and our sister black church. Most of the time I feel completely ill-equipped to handle this and that’s how I know Jesus is my strength. He is yours too and I hope you continue to be open and honest here and I pray that the women who read your words will be changed deeply.

    • Blessings, Jen, on you, your son, your entire family and also your church network! You’re leading an amazing journey and I pray the Lord’s blessings on your efforts, courage and wisdom. I can relate to feeling ill-equipped to present or advocate on race matters. So many great resources are available, however. Have you read “Waking Up White” by Debby Irving. Also, upcoming in the fall, are two wonderful books to add to your community’s reading list — White Picket Fences by Amy Julia Becker and A Sojourner’s Truth by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson. Like you, I’ve come to understand that we can’t do this work in our own strength. But we can “do all things in Christ.” Moreover, nothing is too hard for Him. So grateful to co-labor with countless others, including you, to help stretch the hearts of believers to embrace racial inclusion. To God be the glory! Warmest regards and much love and grace as you serve! With His joy, Patricia

  16. Love this! I was immediately drawn in and wanted to read more. You are a very good writer! Thank you for sharing!

  17. Thank you for the risk you took to be real and share your heart. I can’t imagine the struggle of trying to write, while leaving out such a big piece of your identity and experiences. Talking about the full picture of who you are encourages others of us to do the same – to refuse to hide away parts of ourselves we are afraid people won’t understand or embrace.

    • So agree, Susan. We’re all so broken and imperfect. As Christ knows, it helps so much to share our whole stories, not just the “acceptable” part. When we do, He uses our truth to minister to others. Sincere thanks for understanding the effort — and for sharing your encouragement. Not everything about me, for example, is about race. When it is, however– and when I long to share the experience with friends — it helps to know I have permission here. Thanks for reaching out to day to offer permission, but also kindness and love. I sincerely appreciate you! Peace and blessings, Patricia

  18. I committed myself to Christ as a child and would boldly proclaim that I love all people. If asked, I would have told you that I am not a racist. Now that I am 58 years old, sitting in my mostly white neighborhood, attending my mostly white church, teaching in a multicultural public school with mostly white teachers, I am realizing more and more how racist I am and I am sorry! I catch myself still referring to my black friends as black friends, instead of just friends. I am first recognizing the plank in my own eye, hoping to be real enough to do something about it. Thank you, Patricia, for reaching across the color line. Thank you for reminding me that there is still a lot of work for me to do.

    • Carol, thank you so much for sharing this today. I commend you for challenging yourself to look hard at racial dynamics and invite the Lord to challenge you how to make things better while also helping others to heal. Not everyone is called to do this work, but when we are, may God help us to step up, study to show ourselves approved and then do our part to make a difference. If you’re looking for resources, I can recommend several books including “Waking Up White” by Debby Irving. Also, upcoming in the fall, are two wonderful books to add to your reading list — White Picket Fences by Amy Julia Becker and A Sojourner’s Truth by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson. Blessings as you learn, lead and serve. The racial-healing journey can be tough, but also exciting. Thank you for committing to make a difference in this arena for Christ. He knows the struggle and He helps us. To Him be the glory, indeed. With His peace and my warmest regards and thanks, Patricia

  19. I dont think about race….I think about folks and fact is white, black, yellow or red…we all have deep hurts and emotions that never get dealt with or heartbreak….I was made fun of as a child….we were poor didnt have the best clothes or shoes but what we had was clean…we didnt have a car so mom walked to work and rented an apart close to our school and our church while she walked the extra 10 blocks further for work….you see dad checked out when I was three and my brother was six…later as a teen I had a big nose so now I was one of the only kids in my class with a divorced mom…and now a huge nose…then acne…which was horrible…but you know what I find I was building character while the bullies were building ego…and I look at how they turned out and how my life turned out…and I wouldnt trade places for the world….and always my faith in our Jesus kept me going….daily mass and communion strengthened me and yet when I got to college I fell short and after marriage there were trials of rejection from my father at a very young age and that father-wound that I carried around which manifested itself in sin….but God came looking for me…that lost sheep…put me across His shoulders and carried me back to Him and His flock and what glory it brought to my life and family…so each of us no matter our race creed or religion lives a life free of hurts and pain and rejection…its taking it to God for the healing….He will never fail but humans will

    • Thank you, Lila, for sharing your story. AI admire your honesty and insight as you look back on your life and see how the Lord kept you in the midst of many struggles, but also walks with you now in healing and love. God’s great blessings on your life and faith journey. Sincere thanks also for commenting today. You’re much appreciated! Warmest regards and blessings, Patricia

    • Sincere thanks, Donna, for your feedback. So well said. These are critical conversations for God’s people. May He bless us with courage and compassion. Then may He heal. Kindest regards and deepest thanks today, Patricia

  20. Absolutely! You would be a great friend I am sure. Christ followers especially should be able to see beyond the surface color and share the Spirit within. I am quite sure when we are standing with Jesus in heaven we will not be worried about someones color and while here on earth it serves us well to honor each other in love.

    • Sincere thanks, Dan, for your affirming and kind feedback. Won’t it be amazing to hear the Lord Himself teach us about love — especially since John said he saw in Heaven “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9). This is an amazing description that, to me, says ethnic difference does matter to God –challenging us to see difference and to love each other anyway. As you say, what a beautiful way to honor God who created us all. Thanks for your friendship, indeed. To God be the glory! With His grace, Patricia

      • Dear, dear Patricia, I have wanted to respond to so many of your articles only to get to them after they are closed. I mainly want you to know that I support you 100% in what you say all the time and I do try wholeheartedly to do my part within my small space in the world. I cannot put your sentiments into words quite as you do but I embrace and savor them while bringing tears to my eyes. I only want you to know that you have full partnership in me. Keep up your transparency and passion! I’m so very thankful to have discovered you a little over a year ago. {{{Virtual hugs}}}

        • Thanks so much, Elaine! I thank God for connecting us as only He could — through a word! (Or two!) Thank you, meantime, for doing your part. May God keep blessing us each to do exactly that! With peace, thanks and love — Patricia

  21. Patricia,
    Thank you for these words today. The world needs to hear Your VOICE! I need to hear your voice. So keep writing and speaking Truth in the eloquent, down-to-earth, grace-filled way you do. under the mercy, Lucinda

    • Sweet Cindy! Lovely to see you here, and doncha just love Patricia? beautiful, wise lady, gifted author, reconciler of Christ!
      xoxo
      Lynni

    • You’re a wonderful writer advocate and friend, dear Lucinda. Deepest thanks for your kind words and encouragement. For such a time as this! With peace and sincere thanks, Patricia

  22. Thank you for sharing your story and struggle. In this place (and all places), I pray that we feel safe to share and struggle together.

  23. Thank you for a beautiful essay. I echo the remarks of the above comments. My initial response was “Will you be my neighbor?” I am an ‘elderly’ white woman but have prayed for a black friend, neighbor. We do have a black granddaughter and Asian grandson (both by adoption and grown). I am a retired RN, and taught nursing. One of my favorite compliments was that I ‘was pretty nice for a white woman” 🙂 I hope you come to Iowa someday.

    • Your comments make me smile, Phyllis. Will I be your neighbor? Absolutely. I thank God, in return, that you will be mine. May God help His people, indeed, to close this great divide. Thanks by your comments for showing that you’re already doing that. Blessings and warmest regards, Patricia

  24. Dear Sister
    The best thing about your post is not that you have a biracial family and struggle with race issues from a Christian female’s point of view, it’s the honesty of a human being struggling with all the issues Christ told us we would struggle with. What I see is someone who is doing it with grace and openness and showing her family true Christian love – love based on the blood of Christ and the obedience it requires of us.
    Bless you sweet sister. Your light is shining brightly!!!
    From another Matriarch of a biracial family

    • Loretta, thank you so much for your kind feedback. You’re so right — that when we show the whole picture of who we are, we help people love our Christ and also love us. By His Spirit, we can share our honesty and truth, and that makes all the difference! Thanks for hearing my truth today and responding with such kindness. From one family matriarch to another, my deepest thanks!

  25. Thank you for this encouragement to be vulnerable and honest, because I used to open myself up and be real a lot, but after being like that, I felt like when people saw me at church they thought I was weird or those things I shared was what they saw when they saw me. But I needed this encouragement, because today I’m going out to lunch with my spiritual mentor anf I really want to cancel because its awkward and hard to be real. Please pray it goes well meeting with her.

    • Thanks so much, MaryMargaret. I pray your lunch meeting was a huge success! Not everyone can hear other people’s hard truth — or hear who they are. If you desire to share the whole story of yourself, may the Lord bless you with friends and loved ones who can hear it. For His glory. Peace and kindest blessings on you today. All for Him, Patricia

  26. Patricia,

    What a beautiful post – thank you for your honesty and transparency. We are all called to love first regardless of race, creed, gender. I’ve had many open conversations with friends of many colors, backgrounds and genders and in the presence of Christ, we know we are all sinners but sons and daughters made in the image of God. I challenge myself with that every time a false question or judgement enters my mind. I remind myself that they too are made in the image of God and all presumptions wash away, not immediately always, but it reveals and corrects my fallible heart.

    • Your kind comments reflect your wisdom and beautiful spirit, Rebecca. Thanks so much for wonderful spirit. Yes, we are all His image bearers. May God help us all to always remember that. Sincere thanks and many blessings, Patricia

  27. Patricia,
    Wow, thank you for the courage that it must have taken to write your story and share with us all.
    I cannot imagine the looks, judgements, etc that you and your family receive!

    I am white, well maybe a little Heinz 57( as my Pawpaw would say, lol ) and my hubby of 25 plus years is Mexican American and American Indian, we get looks all the time !! Yes, we live in Texas and would think in today’s world, more people would not be so judgmental, but I think it’s worse than it was even when we first got married.

    I am glad you are here and a new friend, I’m sure with everything going on in our world today, it was even tougher to write about this , but you’re right, we have to be more like God! We must all sit at one table and share our stories, our hurts, our joys, and you have shared a very important and meaningful story . Im so sorry that you and your family deal with this ungodly behavior and judging.
    You’re welcome at my table anytime .

    Love and hugs,
    Jen

    • Thank you, Jen, for your kind feedback today. Your spirit is so warm and welcoming. Next time I’m in Texas, I’ll pull up a chair! Meantime, God’s great blessings on you and your husband and family — including your wonderful PawPaw! Deepest thanks, Patricia

  28. Amen and thank you for sharing. I have a beautiful biracial granddaughter and pray I can show her Christ in my actions and attitudes.

    • I pray exactly the same, Debi. Both our actions and attitudes show Christ, indeed. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom here today! Many blessings, Patricia

  29. Thank you for sharing this. It served as confirmation to me how grateful I am to our Lord and Savior that He looks at the inside of man and not his outward appearance. Here’s to praying that people will be more Christlike in their attitudes towards others.

    • Your kind and wise feedback blesses us all, Barbara. Perhaps the Lord made us look different on the outside so we’d have to learn how to love like Him to see past our differences. Surely, there’s much work to do to heal our deep divisions. May God gird our spirits for this journey with His love. Thanks with your comments for helping me walk this journey! Many blessings, Patricia

  30. Patricia I have NEVER commented on any of these stories and I’ve been connected to the community of Proverbs 31 for about 3 years. Not because the posts I read didn’t speak to me I just wasn’t compelled to as I am with yours. I would like to extend a big THANK YOU for speaking out about your experience with race (especially interracial). I must say that in the past 3 years I haven’t come across someone’s story like yours that hits so close to home. Thank you for your courage, transparency, and message of love. I love Proverbs 31 ministry and all that it stands for but I have always felt it lacked the sharing of stories like mine, which you have now shifted for me today. And for that I’d also like to say a big thank you to Proverbs 31 for giving you a platform to share your story. I look forward to reading more by you Patricia. God bless you and I’m praying for the deliverance of your daughter and her family. Jesus bring them back to you!

    • Oh my goodness, Michele! Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m deeply grateful that this post spoke to you so intently. (Also, I should point out that this isn’t a Proverbs 31 community; it’s the (in)courage community at DaySpring — although I understand how one might get confused about that!) The main thing, however, as you say, is expressing our gratitude to (in)courage for granting me the platform to share the racial part of my story. That’s why I started by asking — can we talk? Just really talk? The answer that people are giving me here today is YES. Let’s please talk and share about these things, and then see what God will do. Thanks so much for joining this vital conversation with your feedback today. You are much appreciated! Hope to connect with you again here. With peace and sincere thanks, Patricia

  31. Dear Patricia,

    I love you and your story, that I first read in In Touch magazine. That was so beautifully written, as is this. I felt myself sitting with you and your daughter’s family at lunch and giving thanks for it all. And how I admire your being so vulnerable in honestly talking about things.

    Thank you for sharing with us so eloquently and lovingly. How our country needs honest discussion about hard things. I am 6 weeks away from my 85th birthday and I grieve for the splintering of our nation. I pray often that I will be able to see others as my LORD sees them, and love them in the way He loves them. Thank you for being here with us.

    • My deepest thanks, Molly, for sharing your kind comments today. Your welcoming voice and spirit give me hope. It’s easy for me to feel discouraged by our splintered nation. (I grieve with you, indeed. about our divisions.) If enough of us move forward with courage and hope in Christ, however, He can help us heal — not to mention to love. I pray, indeed, Molly, that at age 85 I can be a witness for Him as you are. With thanks for your beautiful welcome and kind words, a grateful Patricia

  32. Patricia,
    Thank you for your post today – for your courage, honesty and transparency. I would love to meet you someday, but if not, I consider you a friend and I hope you will consider me one, too.
    Blessings!

    • Edwina, your kind feedback means so much. Sincere thanks for your warm feedback and encouraging words. Hope to connect with you here again real soon. Many blessings and deepest thanks! With His love, Patricia

  33. Thank you, Patricia. I was a child care provider for over 30 years. The children I cared for were white, black, bi-racial, Hispanic, and every combination. Believe me racism is taught. My babies loved each other and got along great! Several times I had to teach some parents or especially grandparents that, at my house, we were all God’s children and equally loved.

    My cousin’s daughter and her husband were foster parents and have adopted two children, a boy and a girl. Their son is black and their daughter is white. She was posting on Facebook recently about the hurtful things people say both directly to them and just loud enough to be overheard.

    I want always to be an agent of love and peace. It would be my pleasure to be your friend. God bless you for your timely and well said post. I look forward to seeing more from you.

    • Thanks you so much, Charlene, for your kind and wise words. You are so right. Racism is taught. Thank you for teaching love and peace instead. May God gives us all the courage to take a stand for Him in this way. Standing with you in love and friendship! With peace and love, Patricia

  34. I was flipping through Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way yesterday before letting someone borrow it. I was looking at all the places I’d underlined. I was especially embarrassed by all the notes I’d written in because it exposed my own brokenness. Then a comment the author made toward the back gripped me: that we hurt each other deeper when we refuse to be vulnerable and real with one another. So I loaned the book as it was. And I think that’s what your article here is too: your real and vulnerable self sharing in the hopes of connecting sisters in Christ. Thank you. May we each have the courage to be real with each other in the midst of our personal and global brokenness and look up toward our Savior together.

    • Thanks so much for sharing this, Pearl. So well said. Thanks for reflecting on Ann Voskamp’s insight and wisdom and passing it on to everyone here. Mat God bless us to be real with each other. So needed now. Appreciate your thoughts here so much. Blessings and thank you!

    • Thank you so much, Mary. I deeply appreciate your warm welcome and kind words. Excited to share your real friendship — with real talk, indeed! With sincere thanks and blessings, Patricia

  35. Patricia, thank you for being that real, transparent friend who is truthful and loving like Jesus. And thank you for sharing your stories here–I’m listening to them and learning from them. Here’s to skipping over the small talk and sharing the real stuff. *That’s* my favorite thing.

    With much love,
    your friend Kristen

    • Thank you so much, Kristen, for reading and accepting my story. And also my friendship. I didn’t know how this piece would be received, but I have been deeply blessed today by the warm reception. Like you, many desire to “skip the small talk and share the real stuff.” May the Lord help us connect in real ways — sharing our truth in love. As He knows, we all need that. Thanks for offering such kindness as well. With His peace and warmest thanks, Patricia

  36. In my family, there are races from every nation. 702 colors. More colors than a huge crayon box. Tall, skinny, short, stocky, curly hair to no hair in every range of styles. Some are extroverts, introverts and those who fall right in the middle depending on the situation. Brilliant and genius. Many with severe learning, physical and mental disabilities. Spectrum disorders. And those who need assistance to live in this world.
    There are also alcoholics and drug addicts. Some are so wanting to be clean/sober. Others have settled into the madness of addiction. A few hoping they will die.
    I could tell you more about my family. Their differences and their similarities. One thing they all have in common is ill treatment by others. If not by individuals, then by governments and politicians. Some are maligned by another race or gender. Some will never fit in. Not here. Some have been ridiculed and left empty; without hope due to parents who should have never become parents. Families shattered by violence and hate within their own family of origin.
    In my family, there is only one true thing. I am in God’s family. He has adopted me and You as his sons and daughters. Treat everyone with that knowledge in your mind.
    Satan, dressed in his flashy, glittering finery, wants us to become evil. To be filled with hate and divisiveness. It always appears he is winning. He is not. He has already been defeated at the cross.
    It takes one person to be kind. To speak love into the heart of another. Love fractures the hardness around our hearts.
    Speak: Love one another as I have loved you. Be kind one to another. Do to others as you would have others do to you. For God So loved the world, he gave his only son to die for all. (Paraphrase).
    God does not see my sin. He sees the blood of Jesus.
    We so need! to look at others with the eyes of Jesus. Look at others who look different, pray differently, dress and wear their hair differently, without judgement. We cannot deny they look/act different from us, that is not true. We CAN open the door of our heart and offer A handshake. Acknowledging this: I am as different to them as they are to me. Now look for everything we have in common. We have much more in common than we have that divides us.
    The last thing. Stop listening to the media and to those who seek to divide us. News does not “sell” unless things can be twisted just enough to keep us on edge. What we see in a 30 second clip is not the full story. No matter what the story is.
    Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
    Thank you for your words today. Wake us up Lord. Purify our hearts. Help us to show genuine love.

    • Love this! God loves all colors! That’s why He made them, and all are beautiful! His children do too! Yes! Stop listening to the media that purposely breeds discord where there isn’t any! Let’s wake up!

    • Kate, thanks so much for your comments. You’ve thought hard and real about God’s family and also your own family. Thanks so much for sharing your heart and insights. Each of us bears God’s image, regardless of our shape, size, heritage or culture. May He bless us to show the best of Him to the world! You did that with your words. Warmest thanks and many blessings, Patricia

  37. Patricia,
    I’m giving thanks this morning for so many gifts — your unique voice, your courage to tell your story, and your friendship. You know my heart has been wide open to you since you said a brave yes to the unknowns of serving with (in)courage. What a joy to see our beautiful community join the chorus of welcome and sincere friendship here today.

    Keep writing, my friend. We need you. xx

    • Thank you so much, wise and wonderful Becky. Appreciate your leadership so much. Sincere thanks for receiving and encouraging me. Your affirmation and friendship mean so much. Deepest thanks and warmest regards! With His love, Patricia

  38. Thank you Patricia for this blog. I have subscribed to your blog and will be happy to receive it with love. I attend a church where we love everyone regardless of their color. Keep serving God and loving people and I consider you my best friend and I am white.
    Love and Prayers

  39. This is just beautiful. Thank you for your honesty and openness. As friends we MUST be able to talk about these important issues. As you said, “When we tell the truth about what weighs us down or hurts us, we can connect with one another with obedient courage. Then we can do the best thing: Be Like Jesus”
    I’m passionate about Jesus, recycling, and staying healthy after cancer, and my friends know this about me. They also know I don’t always manage to practice what I preach, that the skeletons from my past still haunt me, and how I wish my kids minimal faith makes me feel like a failure.
    So yes, I’d like to be friends.
    xxx

  40. first i would like to say thank you to the (in)courage family for adding contributors who look like me to the community! i already loved the community, but this just makes me love it even more! mrs. patricia, thank you for putting it out there. race can be a difficult and uncomfortable subject to broach, but thank you for breaking the ice. you can’t address or deal with what you won’t talk about. thank you again! prayerfully, we can get past the awkwardness and like you said, “just talk.” at the root of the things, how does the amount of melanin make us that different? we have to respect and embrace the richness of our differences and when we “just talk” to one another, we will learn that regardless of how different we look, we are all imperfect people struggling with similar issues and loved by the same God.

    • Well said, dear Karyn. It’s wonderful to connect with you here. Thanks for your warm welcome and may God bless us here at (in)courage — and everywhere we all go — to get real, especially on this issue of race, but also on all things of life, and find our common ground as God heals. To Him be the glory. And to you, my warmest thanks! With His love, Patricia

  41. Patricia, I think what I love best about your post (aside from its’ gorgeous honesty and vulnerability) is that you have encouraged readers to share their thoughts…I mean, look at all of these comments!! Maybe the most I’ve seen in some time. What that says to all of us here is that we yearn to have honest conversations and really, truly know one another. And though I realize this is a special online community, it gives me hope that it could represent more of what we aren’t shown in our country. This is heartbreakingly beautiful.

    Thank you also for your kind and gentle approach to these tough conversations. My son came out in December, and I find that I feel combative toward anyone who starts to speak negatively about his life. But he himself said to me one time, “Mom, I think we just need to show others who don’t understand or approve that I am a loving person who has a great relationship with Christ. That more than anger will change their hearts.” I. am. so. convicted. by his words of faith…it is something I struggle with on the daily. Thank you for modeling that for all of us. And thank you again for this post. It spoke volumes to me.

    • Thank you so much, Cynthia! I appreciate your words so much. I didn’t know how this column would be received, but I know from my humble experience that truth and transparency break down many walls. And your son is so right — we just need to show others that we’re loving and know and love Christ. From there, He will do the rest. Thanks for connecting today and blessings on your entire family — and on our family here. May He grow our friendships strong!

  42. My best friend is married to a black man. Except for his skin being much darker than mine or my husbands, we don’t see the problem. We do many things together, plays, dinner, movies, etc. and I don’t even think about it. I try to be so absorbed in our selves and our conversations, that I find I don’t even notice what others are saying or doing. Fortunately we live in a community of Hispanic, Black, White and several people of Asian decent, and many in positions of importance and although some are more conscious of race and “color” I think the majority are much more accepting now than they were 20 or 30 years ago. I pray that this continues to spread through the world and we can learn that we are just human beings and don’t even notice our differences, but instead are better for them.

    • Thank you, Shirley. I appreciate your comments. My daughter and I were talking recently about how young school children, who haven’t been infected with racism, seem so open-hearted to one another. So ready and able to be friends. Like you, I’m grateful for this change. I’m also grateful for the courage to speak honesty about racial hurts, and not just ignore color, but understanding how color has been used to keep others down and hurt them. So, yes, see my color — if that’s what I’m asking. It tells a story of what I have been through. Then let’s talk honesty about all of it. That’s what I sought to do here today at (in)courage. Thank you for being an important part of the conversation. This sharing is so needed!

  43. Patricia, for this I thank you so much. I thank you for your honesty, but especially about prayer with your husband. My husband is a pastor and still we don’t have consistent prayer. I thank you for being honest about racial hurts too. Is it wrong that i also hate the term white privilege? I don’t know what to do with all this except continue to get to know and love people one at a time. Oh Lord make me like you! You are so right about conversation: why should our color or culture make a difference? Just thank you for all of it and please keep sharing! Consider yourself hugged from afar!

    • Thank you, Paula, for sharing. Regarding praying with my husband, I thought that was important to share! As for the term “white privilege,” I’m aware it can be hard for some people to accept or understand. I can recommend two books that may address your concerns — first, “Waking Up White” by Debby Irving. It’s one of the best books on race and racial issues that I’ve read recently. The second is “White Picket Fences: Turning toward Love in a World Divided by Privilege” by Amy Julia Becker, and due to be published this fall. As Amy Julia says, “The notion that some might have it better than others, for no good reason, offends our sensibilities. Yet, until we talk about privilege, we’ll never fully understand it or find our way forward.” I highly recommend both books. Meantime, thank you so much for reading my column today and responding with godly love. To heal, that’s where it all starts!

  44. Patricia, love the honesty in your post. In my opinion, this is and should be a place where we can share, love, pray for each other, and grow. My grandparents raised their children to believe that God created everyone equally and that race, position, or monetary worth wasn’t important. Knowing and loving God as our Father and Jesus as our Savior was the only thing that mattered. They went to Heaven in 1965 so they did this when their views were not recognized by many.
    This was passed down to us and it saddens me to know that we still have so far to go. Thank you again for your wonderful post, willingness to open up and share, and for bringing up an issue that cannot change if we ignore it.

    • Thank you so much, Donna. And well said. We can’t change the harm of racial pain if we ignore it. Deepest thanks for letting me wrestle openly with the issue here. May God help us talk and share so He can heal! Love and blessings today, Patricia

  45. Oh my Sister In Christ Jesus I thank you for your refreshing and absolutely beautifully worded honestly and courage! What a Beautifully Blessed reminder that we are All His Children and Our Color does not make us any messed loved or lovable In God’s Eye’s or In The Eyes of all His Children Our Brother’s and Sisters In Christ Jesus. Thank you and may God continue to Speak through you To share His Love for Us All. God Bless you now and always In Jesus Name We Pray Amen

    • Crystal, thank you so much! Your feedback and your prayer bless me so much. Sincere thanks for reaching out with God’s great love today. You are deeply appreciated!

  46. As a child of god, I look at all individuals as children of god! But I do agree that others do not. I am Caucasian. When I see a multicultural couple/family I smile so big. I believe this is the way a world should look. I also smile big when I see a large person, a person with a handicap, homeless person since they might get negative responses from their community too~ A smile cost nothing and there is no place for hate.
    Patricia you are loved and loving. Thanks for the topic.

    • Well said, Tammy. A smile costs nothing — and there’s no place for hate! Thank you so much for sharing God’s love in this beautiful way. What a great example for all of us!

  47. This is probably the best InCourage post I’ve every read. Thank you, Patricia!

    As a blogger (for adoptive and foster moms, actually), I’ve been considering writing a series on social injustice. I get so tired of the defensive and harsh jabs people are making at each other–at their very friends–on social media. Not to mention how the major media outlets handle these issues. I want us to wake up and learn to love; to start erasing the lines instead of reinforcing them; to listen and work together.

    Protests and letters to our congressmen, accomplish nothing good (according to my observations). We need to quit letting the politicians and media solve these issues. We need to jump in and do exactly what you’ve shared. Be a friend. Be real. Be transparent. Care.

    What you’ve shared here is excellent and very helpful. Thank you for being so brave — and so incredibly gracious.

    • Thank you so much, Cheri Dee Johnson! Each one of us plays a role in healing our social divides. Thanks so much for sharing here — and God’s blessings on your ministry and leadership. May God bless us to join each other in friendship as we seek Him and follow!

  48. Thank you Patricia for this teaching today. It is imperative we be open and honest with our thought and feelings all the while showing love beginning in our home. My husband and I have been married 45 years and our prayer/Bible study times have been inconsistent. I’m happy to say right now (again) we’ve begun to pray and study together. I cherish these times. I have friends of various backgrounds and ethnicities. My Church looks like what I believe heaven will look like. I am so blessed!

    • Thanks so much, Carolyn! It’s wonderful to connect with you here — and to hear how God is blessing your home and marriage and also your church family. Yes, you are blessed! Thanks for sharing such a hopeful testimony!

  49. Hello Patricia,

    I am glad to see this writing and will be passing it on to women from my church and community.

    I just got finished with a discussion on Facebook about a post concerning people being able to give feedback about unconcious racism without others responding with extreme discomfort. It did not go so well, so I am especially encouraged to read your blog!

    I hope we can always see color, not as a division, but as something to honor as an indication of our histories, both shared and unique. I think where we get into trouble is when we assume that skin tones or color is the whole story when we are interacting individually. Historically, my family has shared history with African Americans, through a shared migration and through participation in the Underground Railroad, and though that has real value, it doesn’t do anything to inform our family about the current concerns of race and culture. I think our stories are more interlaced than we are generally aware, but we do a disservice when we diminish each other by not ‘noticing’ race, or by what we white folks love to call being ‘color blind’ which I think is a way of erasing history and culture and assuming white culture as the generic form. Just my thoughts….

    Met you at Earlham, still hoping to get you to Alaska!

    Neva

    • Thank you so much, Neva! So well said. We do a disservice when we diminish each other by “not noticing” race — especially when people targeted by race are saying, please SEE ME. When we look, and consider all that race has meant, then we can really start to talk. Thanks for understanding my effort to say that here. Thanks also for reconnecting here. I enjoyed meeting you at Earlham. If Alaska happens, too, may God bless it. For now, however, thanks for reading my humble writing. May God be glorified in it. Peace and love! Patricia

  50. Thank you for your blog. I am so sorry that there was tension in the people around you when you waited to go see the movie. This seems so dumb in this day and age. I must be much more sheltered than I thought. Thank you for your honesty and transparency. I have had African American friends for years but I need to reach out more. Thank you for your insight and advice. Years ago I read your book – My First White Friend and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    • Thank you so much, Kelley. It’s great to connect here again at (in)courage. You’re right, we have much to learn from each other — especially in these divided times. So keep reaching out! And May God heal us on this journey. With peace and love, Patricia

  51. Hi Patricia,
    Thank you for letting me know about your blog and taking on this subject. I am sorry you have ever felt pain from anyone. I’ve had the luxury of growing up in Los Angeles where diversity is such a way of life that no one cares about it much, or not in my circle anyway. What I mean by that I think, is that I learned to love people a long time ago, I didn’t care what package they came in. Then, as I studied God, I realized that He had created the races, all our differences, for his good pleasure so who was I to criticize or find issue with anyone. Then, in Grad School, He placed me, with a particularly fussy baby, in front of a woman from India who asked me if I’d ever tried peppermint water? That was such a defining moment in my maturity. I realized that this woman and I had so much in common. Our physical bodies were alike; we both got our periods; we both suffered with cramps; we both would probably bare children, go through labor and delivery; probably both bare miscarriages. We had so much to share. I fell in love with people (women really) right in that moment. I find now, that the more someone has suffered, the more I want to know them and call them friend, no matter the package. Lastly, I was once at a Young Life convention. It was being held in a field house at a University and was packed to the brim with people. As I surveyed all the diversity in that room, everywhere you looked, I suddenly realized, “oh, this is what the Body of Christ looks like” and the last vestiges of any racism I may have held fell away. We were all formed in the image of God….We are His image bearers in this world. I celebrate that, no matter the outside package, because it is the heart of Christ in another that I am seeking.

    • Thank you for sharing this, Judy. Like you, I’m finally seeing the Body of Christ as, John said in Revelations 7:9, “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” What an exciting and beautiful picture. May God bless us to help create that picture here on Earth! Meantime, thanks so much for your comments and kind wisdom today!

  52. Patricia!! precious Patricia!

    I’m so glad that you shared transparently from your heart. In our politically drenched society, this is the only way true friends can share, and frankly, the way in which Christians *must* share! I am so moved by your willingness to do so, and to share about what can be controversial, but shouldn’t be. I did this recently for In-Touch Mag in two essays (on other topics), and I would have preferred not to be so transparent, to hide my past. But I know if I am to live true to my purpose, “encouraging transparency,” then sharing openly from my depths is the only way in which I can write. I’m sorry for past hurts against you, racially motivated. It’s heartbreaking. I love how you have overcome this with love and dependence upon the Lord. I knew your daughter Alana’s and your story in Undivided. I hadn’t realized you had another child. My niece, half-Mexican, has lived with a great deal of prejudice thrust against her, presumably because she appears more Hispanic like her Mexican dad. I hadn’t even realized she had gone through so much pain till she opened up to me recently one day. Our family welcomes her dad with open arms, open hearts. And in hearing, *my* heart broke for her. The only way this horrific racial split in our country or in the world will be overcome is with people being willing to tell truth in love, as you are doing, and to share their stories, *and* for people being willing to listen openly–and also to get to know people one story at a time. We realize we are not really so different after all at our heart’s core. I would love to hear the end of that movie story, btw! So glad to see you here, telling truth beautifully as you always do!!
    Love
    Lynn

    • Thank you so much, Lynn! I deeply appreciate your passion and heart for healing. Please keep writing and sharing your stories, too. Knowing about your niece is so important for others to hear. Hate is real and it hurts. To counteract it, May God help us all to love. Thank you for witnessing for love in all you do. So much appreciated in these divided times!

  53. I’m sitting at my kitchen table brushing away tears, because it hurts my heart and my spirit so much to think of you with your sweet family at the movies and people staring. I’m so sorry. I love what you wrote here, and I love your perspective and transparency and courage. My tears come from a place of sorrow and frustration for the things I read about every day in the news. I promise to do everything I can to advocate for change… and with God’s grace, I promise to try and sow more and more love. Thank you, Patricia.

    • Eliza, thank you so much for connecting today. You make the world a brighter and better place. For certain, your friendship and love have blessed me in more ways than I can count. Please keep being you and sharing God’s love in your special way. “Be the change you want to see.” That’s exactly how you are. Keep leading as we follow! Much love today, Patricia

  54. I think your comments are great. My brother married a woman from Haiti over 40 years ago. I have 2 nieces that look much more African American than white. My first realization of how I live in a white world came when I went to find a congratulations card when my nieces (twins) were born. Most of the cards I found had lily white babies with blue eyes on them. I settled for a card that had bunnies instead of babies.

    One of my nieces grew up to marry a young man from Columbia. When we are all together my thought is that we are truly an American family, part of the melting pot I learned about a long time ago in grade school. Since my family also goes back to coming over on the May Flower and with John Smith, my one niece completed the genealogy search and joined the DAR.

    I appreciate your comments and look forward to hearing more from you!

    • Thanks so much, Sylvia! Your family sounds absolutely beautiful! Thanks so much for connecting with me. I’m honored if you are willing, indeed, to call you “friend.” God’s peace and love today, Patricia

      • Of course, I loved your contribution to the book The Wonder Years. That’s how I wound up signing up for your Faith Journey. Your email then told me about your contribution here. You are an amazing writer and I look forward to reading more from you a n the future. Your friend, Sylvia

        • Oh, wonderful, Sylvia! Thanks for letting me know about The Wonder Years. So glad we connected that way! (Small world, right?) Thanks so much! I appreciate your writing encouragement!

  55. I haven’t read all the comments, but I’m not surprised at the depth and intelligence of the ones I have read. Patricia kind of brings that out in people with her transparency and wrenching honesty. Never fails to move me. And the number of comments! Wow! Anyway, fandom aside, I’m writing for a specific reason.

    I’m white, was raised in a blue collar and quietly racist family and much as I don’t like it, there are pieces of that racism that persist. That’s along with occasional bits of sexism, ageism(i.e. harsh judgments of those younger than me), classism, etc. There was a time I felt embarrassed about these illiberal and clearly ‘wrong’ and unloving pieces of me, but that proved to be fruitless. What has been more fruitful is to be gently, but completely honest with myself about attitudes and thoughts that separate the world into ‘my kind’ and ‘others.’ In Christian terms, paying attention to moments of conviction. At times, I’ve been sad to the point of tears. But anymore, they’re not tears of guilt, they’re tears of confession, admitting my ignorance to Christ and asking for his help. As he promised, and as surprising and mysterious as the process is, these ancient ‘artifacts’ of my past have, bit by tenacious bit, simply disappeared. I believe this is the internal change from wordly, ‘sin based’ thinking, to the Kingdom thinking Jesus called us to. Paul describes the results of the change in his beautiful letter to the Galatian church(3:28) when he talks about completely losing the distinctions between Jew/Gentile, Slave/Free and other ‘me’/’other’ ways of looking at each other. Gone. IN Christ. What remains is what Christ lived in and spoke about so well, the love of God.

    This process of change is my definition of redemption – having a completely fresh and loving outlook rise from the ashes of my ignorance. In their place, a very gentle foundation of love is being built, and that foundation makes even sensitive and difficult conversation like racial issues, easier because they quite naturally arise from a very loving place. And yes, it’s all a bit mystical, but it’s an everyday, all the time, easy to access kind of thing. Just ask Christ, he’ll walk you through it.

    Thanks, Patricia, for all of it. You’ve given us so much of yourself over the years and I cherish every moment I spend with your writing.

    Submitted with love and great hope for a less divided future,

    Dave Morgan

    • Thank you, Dave Morgan, for sharing this. Your process of turning from narrow restriction to generous redemption is inspiring. Moving outward from your family to the world. What a testimony! You’re at an interesting crossroads. A next step could be taking a hard look beyond racism at systemic racism. That’s moves us into social justice realms, where we tackle the hard work of examining racial harm done within systems — judicial, governmental, educational, medical, environmental and more. But one step at a time. That’s what I humbly sought to do with my column here. To open a door with a question. Can we just talk? Thanks for saying yes — we can! When we do, God starts healing us all. Thanks for saying that healing is possible. May others follow your example! With sincere thanks, Patricia

  56. Thank you for this post, Patricia. Race relations have always concerned me since I was growing up in the 50s. This is one area in which more talk and listening might be worth more than action.

    I’ve done outreach for our Humane Society in a zip code that most likely has the highest rate of black male incarceration in the country.
    At first I was afraid of being seen as some “do-gooder white lady.” This was never the case. We quickly found common ground in our love for our pets. Sometimes conversation turned to race, and the stories were both heartbreaking and infuriating.

    The only way I can begin to understand the hurt of racism is to imagine walking around with “Jewish Lesbian” tattooed on my forehead in large purple letters.

    Thank you for your wisdom and willingness to write about this issue.

    • Nancy, thank you so much for your feedback. Your experience for the Humane Society — and with interacting with people of different backgrounds, and hearing other people’s stories — sounds timely and Christ-like. Sincere thanks for reading my piece and receiving with warmth and encouragement. You are much appreciated! Warmest regards, Patricia

  57. Patricia just lovely. You put you, your concerns, truth, story in this. I absolutely Love this. I think it is a much needed conversation. I’m glad you wrote & shared. Ephesians 4:25 was a perfect verse. I Love when God’s word packs a punch in our stories as his children/daughters. Keep on writing,telling & sharing! Obedient Courage like thisBe Blessed Beautiful Woman of God!

    • Arlena, thanks so much! Like you, I deeply enjoyed the wisdom of Ephesians 4:25 — especially regarding much needed conversations. Thanks for receiving my thoughts with such grace and encouragement. As a sister in Christ — and new friend — you’re much appreciated!

  58. Patricia, as always you have eloquently talked about an issue that I think is causing real problems in today’s America. I am with you all the way when we follow Jesus’ example of love…there only people not classified people. I am saddened by the state of our country today. I pray I will always be open to all people I meet and greet them as friend and fellow traveler on this journey called life. Thanks for being so courageous in your writing and asking the hard questions and sharing your wise views based on your own lived experiences. You are a treasure.

    • Thank you so much, Kerrie! You live out the example of Christ’s love every single day. Your witness for Him is inspiring and encouraging, and I thank God for the privilege of calling you a beautiful friend but also a fellow believer! Sincere thanks, Kerrie, for your witness in the world, but also for your ongoing encouragement. With regard to race matters in our country, it’s an honor to walk with you on the journey of healing and outreach. Your make an amazing difference in the world. In all this and more, my warmest thanks for being a real and true friend! With His love and peace, Patricia

  59. I finally reached the end of the extremely lengthy number of comments and was so inspired by each one. Yes, I read them all
    What a blessing to have opened a floodgate of feelings and experiences of so many related to the subject of race. It makes me wonder if there really might be more like us than we really know! We need to share our stories and spread how full and loving our world of diversity really is. Certainly there are those who stare and hate, but we must continue to pray for them to appreciate our differences AND similarities. Likewise, we must remember that some stare in awe of how beautiful our biracial/ multicultural families are! Thanks Patricia for starting this dialogue.

    • Thank you, Lauretta! Thanks so much for reading all the wonderful comments. Like you, I’m grateful and encouraged by all of the positive and hopeful comments. “We” are the voices the world doesn’t often hear — saying that, despite our differences and the pain of so much division, we’re reaching across the color line, in Jesus’ Name, to connect, share our stories and heal. Thanks for adding to the wisdom here — especially your insight that some stare at multiethnic families because of our godly beauty. To Him be the glory, indeed. Blessings and peace today — from your actual sister! Love from me, Patricia

    • lauretta,

      i, too, read each comment! (yay for us…lol!) you hit the nail on the head and i love the way you said “we must remember that some stare in awe of beautiful our biracial/multicultural families are!” i oftentimes find myself staring at people because i love seeing the contrast of light and dark hues together. i think there is nothing more beautiful than a heterogeneous family!

  60. Beautifully written. Much needed words. I grew up in a very white home. Peoples of color were friends but not dateable or ‘more than friends’. I didn’t understand even as a child of 7 or 8 when I would ask why races could not mix. The standard answer was “The children would suffer.” My standard response was “But Jesus loved everyone.” I always got ‘the look’ and I never said anymore. Once I became a teenager, it was harder on me and on my mother. Males of color were more attracted to me than white males. *shrug* I have no clue why. Mom and Dad were adamant though that I not date non-whites. I still don’t understand. God created us all, right? I am guessing they didn’t know that Jesus would not have been white, but brown more than likely. I have forgiven them a long time ago for their prejudices. I learned that all of us have them in some manner.
    I strive to live like Lord Jesus wants us to and to love everyone, especially those that seem ‘hard to love’. They seem to need it most 🙂
    I will be reading more from you now that I have discovered you. Thank you for your beautiful post <3

    • Thanks so much for sharing, Jackie! Like you, I recall how many parents struggled to beyond the suspicion and barriers of racial division. We have opportunity now to write a new chapter in our nation’s racial history. God help us to connect and share our stories so this work of healing can begin. Thanks so much for sharing yours! Peace and blessings today!

  61. Patricia,
    I’m tired of the racial mess this country is in! People assume that just because you look, or are of a different color then you can’t be a “real” person. I worked at university where a number of middle eastern students were attending. It was unnerving at first. One can’t assume that all middle easterners are Muslims out to kill Americans. We have to kill the stereotyping, take off the masks & be real with each other. Talk to others & find out something about them. You may be surprised. They may be more like you than you know. If we are to have a revival in this country it must start with Christians. We need to do what Jesus did. He talked to women & Samaritans-something most Jews would never do. He took a chance & made new converts. We went through the civil war, had Emancipation Proclamation, & other civil rights movements. Yet our world-our country is more divided today than ever. People killing, beating or otherwise hurting others just because they are Mexican, Middle Eastern or black. This needs to stop right now!! Let’s start talking about it & behaving as Christ would-loving every one no matter what!

    • Agree with you, Beth, that racial healing in this country should start with followers of Christ. As of now, too many of us are dragging our heels at the end of the line. But Jesus said to LOVE. Thanks for advocating today for “behaving as Christ would” — by loving all. Then His healing can begin. Warmest thanks for commenting today!

  62. Thank you Patricia. My wife and I are in the process of starting a church that is intentional about being multiracial and multicultural. So, this is helpful. The vulnerability with which you write almost speaks louder than the words themselves.

    On another note. I wrote to you several months ago about my daughter who converted to Islam. Our journey continues as she has deepened her commitment to Islam by wearing a hijab and praying regularly. The toughest part is not being able to be with our grandchildren unless my daughter and/or son-in-law are present. It feels like supervised visitation. We have our ups and downs. Keep us in prayer. I remain grateful for your book and personal input during the first few days and weeks of our journey.

    Lord bless you.

    • Thank you so much, Felipe, and blessings on you, your wife, your new church and your entire family. Indeed, as you and your daughter and son-in-law agree to open up, share concerns and ask questions about your grandparenting — I pray the Lord graces the conversations with his love, kindness and hope. Over time, I pray your daughter and son-in-law grow more relaxed, especially when it comes to leaving the grandchildren with you and your wife — allowing all of you to just “be family.” Meantime, you remain in my prayers. I join you in remaining hopeful, indeed, for family healing. With His peace and warmest regards, Patricia

  63. Hi Patricia, I had to write and let you and all the readers know of a program on TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) called Creation In The 21st Century that I really like and enjoy. Three times on the show they had on Dr. Georgia Purdom. Everything and every guest backs up what the Bible says. The first show with her on was May 5th “The Genetics of Adam and Eve.” July 7th “Truth of Racism Exposed”. July 21st “God’s Amazing Design In DNA”.
    She and her husband adopted a Chinese baby, who is now 14 years old. That adoption is what led her into the study of our DNA and how we are all related to Adam and Eve regardless of race or skin color. She says we are all the same color just different shades of brown and if we all understood that there would be no racism for we are all truly related.
    I don’t usually write a reply even though the writers here bless me and a lot of times make me cry because there are so many things in my life that I’m dealing with (stage 3 breast cancer in right breast and lymph nodes that I was diagnosed with in November 2016 to name one) and because there are still areas of my heart God is still in the process of mending and the Holy Spirit uses the writers to do His work. But this was one time I wanted to share what Dr. Georgia Purdom has to share through her research. We are all related by God’s design. May that truth heal you and set you free.
    Lucille

    • Thank you so much for sharing, Lucille. You and the TBN guest are so correct. We are all related by God’s design. My husband is involved in searching his family’s genealogy and he’s always so excited to discover connections throughout his and other families. May God help us to learn that His overall plan includes a beautiful world of all peoples, on Earth and in Heaven. As John said in Revelation 7:9, “I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” What a beautiful picture. May we learn now to walk in it! Thanks so much for commenting.

  64. I so appreciate you–your honesty and willingness to share what you’re feeling. Especially when the change seems so very slow. Your sharing feels healing to many of us in our hurting places, I know that, so somehow there is unifying happening, and walls coming down. Slow, but sure. A gift from you in the midst of your own struggle. Thank you, Patricia.

    • Blessings, dear Brenda! Thanks so much for your encouraging feedback. I’ve been so blessed by the comments on this post — so many desiring to connect with our stories and heal beyond the color line. Thanks so much for your support and encouragement here, and for all you do for so many for Christ! He is healing. Let’s get in step with Him, indeed. With His love and blessings, Patricia

  65. Thank You…Thank you….Thank you for writing this blog post! This post is simply amazing…as a Christian African-American woman it makes me feel some sort of way-a great some sort of way to be exact-to read your candidacy and realness. This topic of race, the topic that tends to create sensitivity for those who would dare to address that the sin of racism exists in both non-believers and believers lives. No one can be free if it is just pushed aside-swept under the rug and denied as a prevalent sin issue the devil has been and is continually using in this nation. This divisiveness is disheartening, my goodness oh how I am so glad you obeyed God and penned your feelings. God is no respector of persons and He so loves the World!!! that He gave His only begotten Son… so why the color of a person’s skin constitutes how he or she should be viewed and treated according to that one factor leaves me so disheartened. Your honesty throughout this entire post is exactly what my soul needed to see this evening. This morning I asked God to meet me where I am today; He did just that. Thank you Jesus! This is an amazing post; I was truly blessed and inspired by it. May God continue to bless you and your family exceedingly abundantly above all you can ever ask or think.

    • Lynnette, thank you so much! I read your comments late last night and I was deeply blessed by your honesty, passion and faith in the Lord to heal the hate and brokenness in our nation and world. As you said so well, “No one can be free if it is just pushed aside-swept under the rug and denied as a prevalent sin issue the devil has been and is continually using.” But God! He is able to heal our divides. Thank you, Lynnette, for believing that with me. As we obey in love, the healing will happen — one by one and day by day. Deepest thanks for joining the community here on this journey! Peace and warmest regards, Patricia

  66. This is indeed a powerful piece Patricia, Many are suffering in silence on the question of race but when we open up and speak,we start to find that desired healing. Its hard sometimes to love but the grace is sufficient;and as you put it in your earlier book, the mountain will move and remove all barriers of hate replacing it with genuine love.

    • Thank you so much, Philip! You are so right. Many are suffering in silence on the question of race. They’ve been taught race is a taboo topic and shouldn’t be discussed. Or they’ve been taught outright disdain and hate of others. The problem can look insurmountable. But God! His grace is sufficient, indeed. May He break the bondage of racial lies and hate and turn our turmoil into love. My kindest thanks for encouraging His healing among all people. He is the balm — and He can heal! Kindest thanks and many blessings, Patricia

  67. Thank you Patricia for your hopeful, healing, truthful sharing. Obviously, people want to connect, want to learn, want to “be neighbors.”. Obviously, God is using you as a channel for that. Keep writing! Keep reaching out! Love and prayers are with you! XOXO

    • Kindest thanks for encouraging, Paula! I deeply appreciate your vision of healing — that people WANT to connect, learn and “neighbors.” May the Lord equip us for the journey with His love! Peace and warmest thanks, Patricia

  68. Hi Patricia,
    Just read this today. I’m so thankful you were transparent and wrote your experience. We are called to share in Both( joys and sorrows.)
    It took courage to write your heart!
    Thank you!!
    As a pastors wife we have daily struggles that not many would like to accept. It’s like there’s a target on the backs of minister families.
    We have had a tough past 4 years as my husband was force terminated from shepherding our first church in Baltimore County, MD. It later was evident this mostly affluent, old congregation still would not accept growing the church with All of God’s children!
    We fought for several years to reach the lost! Many were saved and baptized but still had to leave. We were hurt, moved back to Texas. Tried for years to keep up a mortgage but still lost our home to foreclosure. My husband struggled to find a job to provide for our family with insurance benefits. I’ve had a chronic illness for over 25yrs.
    As many difficult times have been the norm, our Lord walks through each one holding us by the hand!
    Could I share a special story with you?
    We are a “white” family. As this is true… we live to accept All as Christ does. When we lived at Dallas Seminary many years ago, we had 2 boys and I was again expecting, following a miscarriage. Because we lived at DTS we had friends of all nations living at the seminary housing. The beautiful thing was the reality of love being cultivated in our children. When
    my oldest son was 6 years old; I was very pregnant with my now youngest son. He put his hand on my tummy and exclaimed…Mom, what color will our baby be?!
    It took me back… but thankfully I remember saying,” Honey…that’s up to God!” It was precious to us that he saw everyone the same and loved all. We have been blessed, that he now as a College freshman this Fall, he has been asked by the school to help with a Student led worship band.
    The head over the department is black. He doesn’t know my son that well, just from a couple of music camps. This past summer he chose to help lead a jazz ensemble at the camp…usually my middle son plays drums but couldn’t attend this time.
    The only drummer was an 11year old boy. My son embraced this boy who is very gifted and from Africa, as his father attends the school.
    This boy looked up to my son and followed him everywhere! How precious.
    It was such a blessing to see the Lord working in the hearts and minds of young people.
    Did I mention after 8 years of having Lupus…I was never supposed to even have children….But God healed me!! The Lord Named my son, Micah”who is a God like You?”
    A year and 2mos before his birth & delivered at 35 1/2 weeks a full term looking baby boy! No NICU at the hospital! It was many years ago but I still rejoice.
    His plans are greater and higher than my own. To God be the glory!
    Hope this helps you in some small way know that when our future is built on Christ Alone…He will fight our battles!’
    May the Lord bless you sister. And do not listen to the lies of the enemy. May he be bound in Jesus Name! You were faithful!
    Thank you for being bold in the Lord! May all who read your story be changed for His purposes and glory! Our future is secure in HIM!
    Bren

    • Oh, dear Bren! What a testimony! I give all credit to the Lord for this article. I was given the option to pull it and substitute something else I’d written on a different topic. But the Lord wouldn’t let me back down! I’m sincerely grateful that, by writing it, you were led to reach out and share your own story with me and everyone here. What an amazing witness you offer for Who God is and what He can do. May He heal any disappointment you and your husband may still feel about your experience in Baltimore County MD. Some people simply aren’t ready for God’s vision and way. I know you’ll pray for those in that church as the Lord uses you in many others. To Him be the glory! Thank you so much for being His servant — and my new friend! Blessings also on your sons. Joining with you in saying with Micah: “Who is a God like you!” (Micah 7:18). Glory to His Name! With His love, Patricia

  69. Great article and great encouragement! I, like you, have preconceived notions put upon me by others. I’m born and bred in the deep south, and I’m Catholic! Whew, both nasty words, LOL. I’m happy in who I am and what God made me. I’m not perfect by a long shot. CAN I SAY THAT AGAIN!? On top of those 2, I’m also a hairdresser, and mom, and retired military wife. I make friends wherever they are planted for me. Hello new friend! Have a blessed day and keep writing inspiring articles!!

    • Thank you so much, Robin Sellers! Your confidence in God, and in yourself and in all those your meet, blesses your spirit with a wonderful warmth! I can feel your friendly kindness over these digital miles! Thanks so much for reaching out today. With your permission, I’ll consider you a friend, indeed. With His peace and kindest love, Patricia

  70. Patricia, you opened your heart with dignity and humility. And the result? Not just honesty, but grace; confession rooted in trust rather than the ability to understand. Thank you!

    • Thank you so much, Michelle! Your feedback is so kind and affirming. You are deeply appreciated. Sincere thanks for receiving my thoughts and words with such kindness! Thank you for connecting today — and may God bless us to reconnect for Him again. With His love! Patricia

  71. So many wonderful comments and I haven’t yet read them all.. maybe sounds trite, but my true and honest feeling is that when we both love Jesus, THAT is our first family connection to someone we meet. Not race, age, gender, or any other thing.. if I meet someone who I know is a Christian, then aside from every other thing that is visible or invisible, you’re my true sibling. Maybe from another mother but we have the same father. So the connection goes from there. One of my closest and oldest sisters in Christ is black and I am white and we are taking a road trip in the USA in September. I hope we get lots of attention haha so we can share with others our sisterhood in Christ. So much love to you Patricia, and may you feel His love and encouragement wherever you go, and feel the love from your family in Christ too. It’s an important conversation so let’s keep talking it up, we want to hear you!

    • Thank you so much, Agnes! I sincerely appreciate your encouragement on this issue. I’m sure I won’t write about race every time here at (in)courage, but when I’m blessed to do so, it’s wonderful to know so many are willing to read, listen and share. I’m very encouraged. Thanks for cheering me on. Meantime, enjoy your September road trip with your wonderful friend in Christ! You both sound like gems! Beautiful women of God! Deepest thanks for connecting today!

  72. I really appreciate you writing about this topic and look forward to hearing more from you. Please keep it up and don’t shy away from what the Lord puts on your heart!

    • Thank you so much, Lucretia! I promised myself to go back and read your piece from last week, too. Thank you so much for writing, encouraging and leading! Warmest regards, Patricia

  73. Good morning Patricia
    The issue of race is a very serious subject. I recently learned that there is no scientific basis I for race. An early 19th century prominent physician in Pennsylvania came up with the notion that “white” people are smarter than “black” people.
    RACE IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT used to separate rich from poor and nothing more. God created only one race and that is the race called mankind. Personally I have never seen “black” people or “white” people. Some of God’s people have more and some have less of the protein melanin.

    • You’re absolutely correct, Shirley. Geneticists have proven there’s no scientific basis for “race.” Indeed, “race,” as we typically describe it, is a social construct, indeed — meaning we use those categories to construct differences that, biologically, don’t exist. The problem occurs, as you know, when. socially and culturally, the group in charge deems the other “races” less desirable as the group in power, putting rules and policies in place to justify their ill treatment. This is a true evil that the Enemy has used in horrific ways. In the Body of Christ, as we grow our willingness to talk openly about these dynamics — and learn how they operate — we can stand with God to defeat the Enemy’s lies about “race.” Thank you for helping to do that today by sharing your wisdom and insight. Much appreciated!

  74. I believe it will be easier for your grand children to not even have to consider the color of their (or another’s) skin or if people are staring and judging. My 17 year old son is bi-racial. He’s half Indian (East) and half Caucasian. He has gorgeous dark brown skin. My husband and I (who are Caucasian) adopted him at birth. His mix of close friends (male and female) is extremely diverse. The families (most younger than us) think nothing of the differences … to the point of not noticing. I can honestly say that no one has ever approached me with (or been overheard saying) comments or questions about our mixed race family. I actually forget about our uniqueness until I have to fill out a form (lots of forms in applying to colleges) or I read a story like yours. I’m sorry you live in a time where you have to go through this but rest in knowing that it’s already changing for the children that will follow us.

    • Thank you so much, Monty. Your family sounds wonderful! My daughter would agree with you about changes under way, pointing out that her little children — my youngest grandchildren — aren’t saddled by narrow racialized ideas. For that, I am so grateful. Kindest thanks to you, as well, for affirming and confirming these changes. To God be the glory for all He is doing in many hearts — my own included! Blessings and sincere thanks!

  75. Thank you Patricia for speaking on race through Christian eyes. I am 60 years old woman born with blonde hair and green eyes, white skin. I did not ask to be born that way, it is how I came out. So for me, I have always looked at others in that same way, they did not ask to be born the color they were. Growing up, I made friends in all colors. I loved them all the same. I guess I never saw people as a color.
    As I married and raised my two daughters, I taught them the same. I would round up neighbors and friends of my children and bring them to the church activities.
    I was so stunnel at the reaction of many people in the church about me bringing different races of children to the church. I have come to find very bad attitudes in the church as a whole on race.
    I’M so thankful you are opening up this subject. If there is to be a love for all races, it should begin in the church. I am also so blessed that God has given me a love for all people, how sad that so many miss out on the diversity and love of others.

    • Thanks so much, Barbara, for sharing. You have been beautifully blessed by your open-hearted attitude about people of different backgrounds and races. And I heartily agree: love for all people should begin in the church. God help us, as His people, to accept that assignment. Then we witness to the world of His love. Sincere thanks for sharing!

  76. I appreciate your honesty, no need to rant about anything, it’s there, it happens. I am from the south and I know how it is, there is still animosity towards women and their roles, even in church. People will either realize the love of Jesus or live with their fears of what people think, I know I have had them. I ‘m sorry you felt bad about that, one day it won’t be that way, and kudos for praying with hubby, two are better than one.

    • Thanks so much, Rebecca! You are so right. It won’t always be this way. Far too much hurt has been given out, but also ignored, allowed and overlooked — even in the church. But nothing’s too hard for God and a change is gonna come, as the song says. Thanks for joining me in hoping for that. Meantime, yes, I will keep praying! Warmest regards and sincere thanks!

  77. Patricia,

    I really appreciate your post. I work in a office for Diversity and Inclusion and love my job. I too, do my best to live in God’s word. To be respectful, loving and present with each person that walks through the door. With God’s love in me, I hope that each person can feel his presence through me, as I continue to practice and carry out kindness to all.

    • Robin, I totally love your philosophy — to “be respectful, loving and present with each person that walks through the door.” Then others can feel His presence. What a beautiful way to move through the world, now and always. Thank you for inspiring!

  78. Patricia,
    I am so thankful that you wrote honestly about this experience. We have much in common. However, I am on the flip side…I’m the white mother-in-law. And I love it! I’ve learned to love getting those looks for two reasons: 1) It means that God has changed me, and 2) It’s because of those looks that some people have started to really see the big picture. Only God can do that!

    I love your comment: “But real friends talk about real things. They share real stories and real fears.” Because I feel a connection to you I would like to be your friend so I’m going to be honest. In the beginning, I was ashamed of my circumstance. I was supportive of anyone I knew who was in a biracial relationship until it happened to us. I didn’t have a clue that I was racist. My oldest daughter fell in love with a young black man. I ashamedly admit that I fought it. I had allowed the world to influence my thinking and beliefs. Our pastor had no clue that we were battling it. Had he known he would have gladly shown us the light. He would have taken us back to the cross.

    It took months for me to accept that he would indeed be a part of our lives. My husband accepted it long before I ever could. God was not about to give up on me. I think He must’ve rolled up His sleeves and tossed me on the Potter’s wheel. I was definitely a lump of clay that needed to be kneaded. And so He went to work on this lump of clay. (Thank You Jesus!) I am so thankful and eternally grateful that a loving Father decided that our family needed a splash of beautiful color in our lives. We obviously were too bland and a bit ordinary. It has been through our now son-in-law that Jesus has changed me the most. I love how God blends things together to get something unique.

    Now when people stare, and some still do, my smile tells of a story that only the Potter can write. This young man has been one of God’s greatest tools used in changing my heart. Do we worry about what the future holds for our granddaughter’s? You bet we do! My husband becomes real emotional when he thinks of how cruel people can really be. If he could protect them from such cruelty he would. But it’s up to us to show the world that God sent His only begotten Son to die a cruel death on a rugged cross for EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US. No matter the color. The world is looking at us now, your family and mine, to see what our reaction is going to be. Are we going to show love? Will they see Jesus in us… Oh how I pray they do.

    In awe of Him,
    Vonda

    • What a testimony, Vonda! Like you, I never expected to have a biracial family. Never really thought about it. But our son-in-law, as with yours, has blessed our family in such beautiful ways. Your willingness to let the Lord stretch, change and “grow” you — while also growing your heart and your outlook — provides a powerful witness to everyone you encounter. May He protect you and your family from the cruelty of others. Meantime, may He keep building friendships across the color line, especially in the Body of Christ. Thank you, indeed, for reaching out in friendship to me today. I’m reaching back in kindness and love. And to God be the glory! With His joy, Patricia

  79. “When we tell the truth about what weighs us down or hurts us, we can connect with one another with obedient courage.” Among so many rich thoughts and words here, this was one of my favorite lines :). It’s so true.

    And I know I’m commenting well after this post was published, but I wanted you to know how GLAD I am you said “yes” to joining our contributor team, and how thankful I am you’re willing to “go there,” to lead, teach, and inspire readers to a new understanding from the inside out. You bring so much to this community, and I’m eager to know you better :).

    Thank you for stewarding this opportunity well, for opening your heart and being a truth teller.

    xoxo

    • Dear Robin,
      It’s never too late to say something mattered. I’m honored, indeed, by your effort this morning to reach out and connect. I’m lifted and encouraged by your kind words and warm welcome. Thank you SO much. You’re starting my day with a VERY big smile! Warmest thanks and blessings. With His love, Patricia

  80. Pat,
    I am always grateful and encouraged by your honesty, no matter what the topic. On matters of race, conversations can be very sensitive and oftentimes misunderstood. But I believe with Love as the motivator we find the strength to hang in there and keep the conversation going. For change to occur, it’s imperative that we don’t stop talking, don’t stop listening, don’t stop checking ourselves. Never stop loving. I have found that to be the key in so many areas of my life, especially my marriage. Thank you for sharing conversations regarding race, and life in general – even when these conversations hurt.

  81. Linda,
    Your wise insight points to the heart of the issue — never stop loving. In all situations, an overlay of love makes all the difference. I saw a sign today near a bus stop that said “When push comes to shove, don’t shove.” A good reminder for all of us. And, yes, marriage benefits from this philosophy for certain! Kindest thanks for affirming that here today!