About the Author

Mary is a writer and speaker who lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons – but lives because of God’s grace. She writes about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places at MaryCarver.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

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  1. Thank you Mary. It can be so hard to acknowledge this. At least it is for me. I grew up in a multi-cultural neighborhood in NYC and never really gave it much thought. I had neighbors from all walks of life, all colors, all languages spoken. My family was bi-lingual and recent immigrants. I just “assumed” an awful lot. All through life I had friends who identified as Black. I have a “cousin-in-law” who is African American. I never once thought to consider to have a conversation about this. As I write this I struggle using the correct words. I am trying to examine my life. I may not be able to do anything about the past, but I can certainly do my part by educating myself for today and the future. I wonder what Jesus thinks?

  2. So very appreciated. I’ll read this over, slow. Your heart comes through and makes this such a compelling piece for me. THANK YOU.

    • You’re welcome, Sara. I love how you said that — read this over, slow. So many times I skim through articles and have to go back again to really soak it in.

  3. “ I don’t always get it right, but that’s part of the process of growing. We learn. We mess up. We do our best to make things right. And we keep going.” Yes! We never stop learning how to love others well.

    Thank you for all of this, Mary!

  4. Mary, thank you for this honest post. And thank you for living these words. From my first moments of getting to know you, I was struck with how safe of a person you are—and that feeling is SO rare these days. You are humble, observant, others-minded, tender, and open. And that is a powerful combination. I’m so very grateful for your words today.

  5. You have captured beautifully the emotional confusion that many feel, that cause some to deny the truth and reality of racism, and return to old beliefs that do not enable us to move forward into His light and desire for Love. It is so hard, as you have described, to “learn to sit in discomfort”. But, we must. He sits with us as we grapple, reflect, and allow Him to change our hearts. I am counting on HIm, and I know that He is counting on me. Amen

    • Yes, I’m so thankful God sits with us in the discomfort and helps us move forward even when we’d rather return to those old beliefs!

  6. Thank you for sharing your well thought out insights and saying what so many of us feel but can’t articulate so beautifully. You have given us all something to reflect on.

    Thank you for your words and the intentions behind them!

  7. So beautiful and intensely honest, and so necessary for all to hear. I can’t ever know the pain of racism, but I can sit with those who do and give honor to their struggles with my respect.

    • Yes, Maura, exactly. We must honor others’ experiences by listening and responding with compassion. Thank you for being here today!

  8. Good morning Everyone, who precious it is to know the love of Christ ! ! !

    Thank You Lord for teaching me to have a soft heart and a teachable demeanor.

    My desire is for all God’s children to be loving toward one another. If we can’t start in our own family and our own community and our own House of Worship, then how can we expect good behavior and correct beliefs from those who are unsaved?

    We all have a very long way to go . . .

    Let’s start with God is our Creator, we did not create ourselves. We did not choose our parents and grandparents. So, this is common sense why can’t we also understand that God had His own reasons for diversity in mankind. Now, can anyone change their race? No, even if you wish you could, you cannot!

    Love is an action word, what we all need is to ask God to transform our minds so we can love the agape way.
    This is how God loves us, no strings attached. He offers us life eternally but we have to change our hearts toward each other.

    I will be in heaven, I hope to see you all there too.

    God bless you all ! ! !

    • Brenda, I’m also so thankful God is teaching me to be teachable. It’s taken a long time for this stubborn heart, but He is full of patience and grace.

  9. Yes…. this is how we move forward.. Period. “ I don’t always get it right, but that’s part of the process of growing. We learn. We mess up. We do our best to make things right. And we keep going.”
    This pertains to every aspect of life.

  10. Same. My son, adopted and of another race, is helping me view things differently. I feel as you do and have been likewise tempted to respond as you have in your head, but the same Holy Spirit has stopped me. I’m learning more, listening more, always good. Thanks.♥

  11. Thank you Mary. I’m learning, just as you said: “to sit in the discomfort of challenging my long-held perspectives” AND most of all listening. For me, that does require sitting on my hands and biting my tongue! My sisters and brothers of color and nationalities other than mine are worth it.

  12. I treasure this post. As a Christian Asian American, living in an upper middle class predominantly white community, people have often expressed their ‘but I’m not racist’ phrases in my presence — but turn a deaf ear to the plight and struggles of those of us in their faces who are forced to respond to blatant ill demeanor in public. Having been raised with values that were God-fearing and neighbor-respecting (and these were from immigrant parents), it was a real culture shock to enter into an adult environment that purported to be Bible-thumping but did very little to practice the precepts found in that Bible.
    As a Church, we have a long way to go to bridge the gap of chosen ignorance (‘I don’t see, therefore, I don’t need to think) — the Body of Christ is made up of all of us.
    Thank you for your transparency and honesty. I pray that you continue to ignite the flame wherever you go.

    • Linda, I’m so sorry you’ve been hurt by the Church. I wish I could say I’m surprised, but I know that’s a common experience for so many of our sisters and brothers of color. Thank you for sharing your experience and your heart, and for the prayers!

  13. Praise God for the wisdom He gave you that day, Mary, to listen and ask thoughtful follow-up questions. I praise Him too that the same wisdom is available to all of us who ask (James 1:5), as such conversations happen in each of our circles of influence.

  14. Mary,

    We would all be wise to listen & be silent more. Hearing others’ stories can help both them & us. They can “let it out” & we can be the sounding board. Plus we can learn how best to help them. Sometimes all anyone needs is a safe landing place to tell their stories & know they are loved.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Beth, you’re so right and yes, being a safe place is such a valuable part of our cross-cultural friendships. Thank you for being here as always today!

  15. Beautifully said, Mary! There is such a need for listening and understanding. Recently, I heard a white woman complain about the phrase Black Lives Matter. When I pointed about that the phrase didn’t imply that white lives don’t matter, she was unconvinced. I tried an analogy: does the phrase Save the Children mean that we shouldn’t care about adults? She said that was different: “I mean, what do those people want?” she asked me—a white woman. I started to talk about the pain of racial injustice and how prejudice hurts all of us, not just people of color. And then I got frustrated. I suggested that she speak—and listen—not to me, but to the people of color she knew. And then I got even more frustrated. Sometimes the problem isn’t that our explanations aren’t persuasive enough, but that our ears and hearts aren’t open enough.

    • Ohhh, Eileen, I’m frustrated for you! That conversation sounds really difficult. But I’m encouraged and inspired by the way you engaged anyway and spoke truth even when it was hard. You’re right; open ears and hearts are what’s needed so desperately right now. May it begin with us!

  16. Mary, you wrote:
    It’s a privilege to listen and hold my friends’ stories, and I’m grateful that in His love, God revealed the ways my posture, my beliefs, and my actions needed to change so I can truly love others as He does.

    THAT PART!!!!
    Colorblindness robs of us this rich opportunity. May we refuse to be live in the lack of understanding.

    Thank you for sharing your learning journey!
    I see and appreciate your humility and vulnerability.

    Shalom
    LCB

    • Thank you, Lucretia. I definitely thought colorblindness was the goal for a long time. I’m so grateful God has shown me that appreciating and celebrating our differences is so much more loving than ignoring them!

  17. I grew up in a city. In our neighborhood we were all the same. We shared food clothes and families. Its only been in these past 25 years that this has become an issue. So if one has to change then all have to change as we see each other as equal. Not what we have or what we do but who we all were created to be. God created all equal so we all need to treat one another that way. There are people of all kind who do the right thing and then there are people who do the wrong thing. The answer is we all live on this planet. We make the best of who we are and seek to make ourselves who God created us to be equal in
    His sight. Life is full of choices so make your own choice.