Nicole Lewis (pictured here talking about Jesus to a large college group) grew up in our church in Glide, Oregon. She was the only bi-racial student in the entire school system (in truth, in the entire county), and also one of the best. She achieved on every level, even serving as President of Glide High School. More than that, Nicole has walked with God her entire life and now serves Campus Crusade for Christ overseas in key leadership positions.
Her recent post on racism from the perspective of a black woman who loves Jesus should jar all of us toward admitting that the problem runs deeper into the fabric of humanity than most are willing to admit. It also gives me hope–the only hope for healing in our broken world.
As you might imagine, Judy and I are quite proud of this marvelous young woman we love. What follows are her words with just a few of my comments. Thank you, Nicole, for the privilege of posting this:
Sunday morning I (Nicole) read this from an article on the BBC:
In the middle of Emancipation Park in Charlottesville on Saturday, two young women, one white and one black, took each other’s hands and held them tightly, and with their other hands they gripped the steel barrier in front of them.
A few feet away, a young white man with a buzzed haircut and sunglasses leaned towards them over a facing barrier. “You’ll be on the first f*****g boat home,” he screamed at the black woman, before turning to the white woman. “And as for you, you’re going straight to hell,” then he gave a Nazi Salute.
(Reading these words brought back memories of similar instances in Nicole’s life. She continues:)
Many years ago I once had someone yell at me “to go home” too. It was hurtful, but it was meant to be. It was hateful, but it was meant to be, It was humiliating, but it was meant to humiliate and shame me. Then again last summer I sat outside a Café with a friend in Portland and a car drove past us and this guy leaned out and yelled at us “to get out.”
Racism is a hateful spoken evil.
It’s at times like these that as a Follower of Jesus, I find his words a bit challenging, actually incredibly frustrating “You have heard it said ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say, LOVE your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” This is great twitter worthy religion until you are stood in front of someone who is screaming at you to go home and then giving a Nazi Salute. And then it becomes an inconvenient truth and a choice to be made. Many of my friends have posted Dr. King’s words in the past days and they resonate so well with what we have just seen over the weekend “Darkness Cannot Drive out Darkness: only Light Can do that. Hate Cannot Drive out Hate: only love can do that.”
Hate is easy, but Love is a Real Revolution.