“A black lady talks to a white cop.” That was the title of the essay Patricia Raybon wrote as a guest author on my blog six years ago. She described the experience of hearing a white police officer say, “cops only trust other cops,” and then deciding to ask him about his comment. It turned out that they were both Christians. Plenty of social forces divided them, and their faith connected them too. In the end, the black lady and the white cop didn’t change each other’s minds. They didn’t solve social problems. But they each moved towards the other. They each moved one step closer to listening, one step closer to love. (Incidentally, this essay is still sadly relevant in our continued time of social division. You can read it here.)
On the podcast this week, Patricia and I talk about her encounter with that police officer six years ago. We talk about talking with kids about injustice. We talk about the difference between bigotry and racism. And we talk about the potential for growth in mutual understanding, for growth in love, especially among Christians.
Patricia mentions that one thing African American Christians and white evangelical Christians share is a commitment to studying the Bible. Her comment made me wonder—if predominantly white churches reached out to predominantly black churches and suggested leading a Bible study together, what could happen? What could happen to a black lady and a white cop who share the same faith and study the Scripture side by side?
I’m going to pray for more people like Patricia, who courageously began a conversation. I’m going to pray for more people like that white cop, who willingly entered in. And I’m going to pray for opportunities—especially for people of faith—to learn and to listen from one another with the Word of God as our common guide.
To read further with Amy Julia:
- S3 E3 | Our Different Stories Divide Us with Patricia Raybon
- AJB Recommends: Books, Podcasts, and Films About Racism and Privilege
- Five First Steps Toward Racial Healing
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