Twice in the past three years, our family has had the privilege of “adopting” an international college student for the school year. Two years ago, we hosted a girl from Japan; this year, we have a girl named Ruth from Rwanda. The students live on campus, but we hang out every couple of weeks.

My husband, kids, and I recently went with Ruth to an International Food Fair on her college campus. When we got there, Ruth introduced us to a white-haired woman named Jeanne, who lived at a retirement complex in the area. My husband asked Jeanne, “So how do you know the students who are here?”

“Well, when I moved back here after my retirement,” Jeanne explained, “I asked people at the college where I could find international students. They told me that there’s a regular gathering every Friday night on campus. So, I walk over from my condo on Fridays to meet with them. It’s so lovely.”

This is how it’s done, people.

Do you want to see racism squashed in our land? Be like Jeanne.

Go out of your way to find people who are different from you.

Sacrifice the time. Ask the questions. Make the effort.

Do whatever you need to do to find people who don’t look and sound like you, and make friends.

The remedy for racism is relationship — first with Jesus Christ, then with people of different ethnicities.

We will always have biases and skewed perspectives unless we’re willing to actually get to know each other at more than just a surface level. But in order to truly love one another, we first need to know and accept God’s love for us.

Racism is a complex, multi-faceted issue. It isn’t only about policy and privilege.

We can fight for as many rules and regulations as we want in an effort to make life fair and equal for all, but as my husband says, “You can’t legislate the heart.”

We need Jesus. Through our relationship with Him, we can build genuine, lasting, God-honoring relationships that will squash racism underfoot — where it belongs.

Read the rest of this post, How to Defeat Racism, over at iBelieve.com.

Spoiler alert: When my grandma first heard I was dating a black man, she was not impressed. Click over to iBelieve.com to read what happened the first time my white grandma met my black boyfriend.


Related post: I’m a White Girl from Michigan, and I’m #GoingThere


I married a black man(2)


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5 thoughts on “racism :: what I learned from two white-haired ladies

  1. Love it! Our church seeks for and prays for diversity in membership. Our pastor recently challenged those of us complaining that there was still not enough diversity to personally go and seek out people who do not look just like us (in terms of age, race, ethnicity, etc.) and make the effort. Imagine the results if we all do that!

  2. Go out of your way to find people who are different from you. – AMEN. Love you heart, friend. I want to be like this. God is helping me move past comfort zones into spacious places. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Thanks for sharing this post! It’s so timely and so real… The church in the U.S has a long way to go in terms of dealing with race. We learn so much more not about others when we reach out but we learn so much more about ourselves. The cornerstone of our faith is Love, yet for those who aren’t Christian they see anything but that coming from the Church. I’m still in prayer that many of those hearts will be changed!

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