“The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.” —Mark 12:31
As a black woman of faith, I have experienced racial encounters with some people. Times when the person did not look at me for acknowledgement, or made comments about my hair, or were mean toward me for no good reason. When I would go through those experiences, it would make me feel sad. I could not understand how someone could treat me unfairly when I had not done anything wrong to them.
In those moments, I would just pray for them and think about the second commandment God gave to us to love our neighbor as ourselves. First, we need to learn how to love ourselves, and what that looks like is having a relationship with God. Secondly, when we love ourselves, we want what is best for our fellow neighbor. So, that means we do not treat each other in any unkind way for any reason. Rather, we are more intentional about loving each other in such a way that we all feel included with unity.
I have no ill feelings toward the people who did not treat me fairly. It does compel me to love them at arm’s length by praying for them, and simply saying “Hello” to them when they walk by. Or to educate them about my hair by speaking with confidence and letting them know it’s okay to ask questions instead of making smart remarks.
Hopefully, we can all overcome our biases with God’s love. Let us think about how each other feels, what we are going though as a country, and how we can be of support to each other because love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8).