A letter to my white sisters:
I see you.
I see you opening up and asking the hard questions that make you uncomfortable because it may reveal prejudice or ignorance that ‘til now laid dormant in your heart.
You’re questioning the way you were raised, previous interactions, things your parents said growing up.
You didn’t know.
Maybe you did know.
I see you trying to say all the right things.
Saying wrong things with the right intentions.
I see the frustrations you feel.
“Well, what can I do?” you ask.
Pray for your black friends. I mean, earnestly pray for us.
We are mourning in action. Grieving countless loss, binding up the wounds of our black brothers and sisters, fearful for our husbands’ lives, our brothers’ lives, our sons’ futures, fighting for justice, and teaching the white community how to walk alongside us for the first time.
Listen to our stories. They may change the way you perceive things. Racism runs deep and is embedded in America’s history. It’s hard to fathom the forefathers we revere making decisions, and passing laws meant to intentionally stigmatize and oppress a specific group of people. It’s hard to fathom just how much those decisions and laws are affecting black people today. Listen anyway and try not to question the validity of our stories.
After you’ve listened, the enemy will want you to sit in guilt, shame, maybe even anger. It’s important not to waste time. Right wrongs. Correct offensive behavior. Break bad habits. Now is the time.
Be the Church.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:9-18.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melissa Dimanche: Melissa Dimanche is a devoted wife, loving mother of two beautiful daughters, and a worship leader at Liberty Live Church in Hampton, VA. Melissa’s writing was first used as a way to process her thoughts before speaking them aloud. It was her accountability. Think. Write. Speak. It then grew into a passion of hers, an avenue to share what the Lord was teaching her through life experiences and to speak truth into the lives of the “every woman.” These days, her time is best spent balancing marriage, motherhood, and ministry. She is excited to share her heart with you.