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Serene Sunday

And They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love…

I tell people when they ask and it’s a true thing, I first fell in love with my husband’s laugh. We both worked for the same company in our early 20’s. I worked in the customer service department and he worked in collections. The building was an ‘open concept’ when open concept wasn’t cool with partitions where you could see each other – except for the tall one that divided departments. 

I heard him laughing and asked my supervisor who he was….the next thing I knew she had asked me to join her for dinner and guess who else she invited…Dearest! Not only does he have the greatest laugh, but also the greatest smile…and those eyes…

We sat across from each other and discovered we had a lot in common…we also discovered that we lived in the same apartment complex. I have heard of love at first sight…I’m pretty sure if there is a little cupid with his arrows that he’d emptied his little bag that night…

One of the things we discovered was that we enjoyed was musicals! The King and I was on tv and we were on the phone talking about the movie then realized…we could sit together and talk about it…we lived in the same complex!!!

At work no one knew that we were ‘talking’. We’d pass each other in the hallway and smile to one another…we’d say hello at company functions…we kept it on the ‘down low’ before it was a phrase…

Then…over time…we knew we were meant to be together – for me for sure that first night…for Dearest it took some time…there were a few obstacles…not to mention working for the same company, but also our families. I didn’t see a problem, he knew better than me. He’d experienced more than I in this regard. You see, He’s black and I’m white. When I told my parents and family they were furious…I was surprised. I grew up in California with just about every race living next to each other, going to school together and being friends together. 

This over time we did over come. There were some family members who refused to talk to me for years. I still loved them and when they finally came around, we welcomed the family member. We understand what God means when He says love one another and when he tells us to forgive. We know just how much God has loved and forgiven us. 

The fun thing is that they learned to love Dearest so much! He’s not only got the best laugh, smile and eyes…he’s got such a winning, happy personality that people are drawn to. I knew this was just what my shy, reserved and quiet self needed. 

I never have and still don’t understand people’s prejudice towards others with different race or skin color.

My goodness in my family alone we have various differences in skin color. My great-great grandmother was Cherokee Indian. My sister inherited her beautiful olive skin from her. My other sister has so many freckles I know that probably comes from the English side of us. I look exactly like my German great grandmother –

(scary aside! We have one of those pictures where their eyes seem to follow. But it looks just like me except she had thick black hair)

I could understand not liking or caring for someone because they have a personality that clashes with you. I could understand not wanting to become someone’s friend because some of their ‘habits‘ you might not like. I just can’t understand not liking or thinking someone is ‘less‘ just because of their skin color. I could understand not ‘liking’ someone because they have a bad attitude all the time. (They probably don’t get a daily dose of hugs like we do in our family)

Those Civil Rights events all occurred so very far from me and truly I don’t have any memory of knowledge of them. We didn’t have 24-hour news cycles back then and I spent all day outside playing – with all my friends – of many and various races. 

Then we moved to the South. Then I met, fell in love and married Dearest…then I began to learn about racism and the terrible things that had been done, the unimaginable laws, the struggles and the just down right evil that occurred. This broke my heart. How could any one think someone is less or have fewer rights just because of their skin color….Can’t any one see just how amazing Dearest is!

I began to experience how people felt about a black man and a white woman being a couple. Still it didn’t really phase me. We were happy, we were in love and we were building a family. I also tell every one that God blessed our family with our first son…because he became one of the bridges my family crossed to begin to accept us. I said he was born the ‘glow baby’.

Really, some people thought there’d be something wrong with a child of mixed races…so weird! But, when he came along that began to melt the ice between me and my family…then the girls came along. Another thing I always say is ‘I did all the work and Dearest gets the credit’. These wonderful children of ours look so much like and take so much of his personality it’s marvelous!

They all look beautiful too. We get complimented quite often. They look like they could belong to any race – and have moved within both sides of the family comfortably.

A funny aside – many, many years ago I was strolling with my daughter and a sweet old lady looked at her and said, ‘she’s so pretty!’ Did you adopt her? ‘No, I smiled and said, she’s mine’. I’m afraid she may have had heart palpitations…I’ll never forget that look on her face.

We home schooled and they’re comfortable with people of all ages too. I would encourage my children to ‘speak for themselves’ when they had a problem or needed something. They’re all amazing, awesome people that in my mind anyone should love and like…just sayin’.

One of the saddest things to me though, is that Sunday is considered one of the most segregated days of the year. What?!!! Don’t Christians understand the changes Jesus brought through salvation and how He said he would make every thing ‘new’. 

All through the new testament the church is referred to as ‘one’. Each person has gifts and talents that are to be used for the betterment of the whole church and for those in need. 

I’ve learned that years ago the notion that God separated the races and never intended for them to ‘mix’. This was used to harm and to imprison people. God never intended this. If someone reads the New Testament and finds any where justification for their actions…they’re deceiving themselves.

God only sees people in two groups – believers and unbelievers. All who believe are adopted into His family and are one in part with the church. We are to reflect and to demonstrate the amazing love God has bestowed upon all mankind. He gave His ONLY Son to pay for the debt of sin for all. It is a free gift that people can choose to accept or to reject. The color of a person’s skin, the country background they’re from or community doesn’t matter to God. And it shouldn’t matter to us. 

How can people who go to church – separately, sing songs such as ‘and they’ll know we are Christians by our love…” and feel others are less than they are?

I feel privileged that Dearest loves me. He’s an amazing man. He’s the best person I know. He’s also quite handsome! He also loves God so much and I know that God is first in his life. God is first in mine too. We have much, we are rich in love and in relationship. I’m thankful that God put us together so that we could demonstrate His amazing love and bring light to darkened minds that no one should, especially Christians, treat someone badly or think of them badly just because they are ‘different’. We’re all different, but we’re all the same in the end.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

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