A Community Comes Together for Healing

In this excerpt from Daily Guideposts, our annual collection of uplifting devotions, Carla Hendricks shares an inspiring account of her Tennessee community’s efforts to achieve racial unity.

Posted in , Nov 25, 2020

A multicultural group of people clasp hands in unity

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.—Galatians 3:28 (NIV)

Recently my husband began coleading community discussions on racial unity in our city. At the end of one discussion, my husband’s coleader invited audience members to share their personal experiences with race.

After listening to a few testimonies, I walked to the podium. With hands shaking, I shared my family’s story as minorities in a largely homogeneous city. I spoke of vandalism at my son’s middle school, with racially offensive words written in the bathroom. I shared the day my husband and I discovered similar offensive words painted on utility boxes on our lawn in a neighborhood where we were the only African-American family.

I recounted the fear that gripped me the night a police officer pulled over my college-age son as I drove nearby, praying he would remember the safety protocol my husband and I had taught him.

As I shared story after story, I felt empathy from others in the room. I saw tears in the eyes of a few. I was encouraged that our community had begun this conversation on race that would continue through future challenges. I was hopeful that now we could face them together.

In his “I Have a Dream” speech, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed, “Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.” I believe Dr. King would be proud of this Tennessee community, filled with people of different races and cultures sharing, listening and lamenting with one another.

Lord, may we, your children, continue to fight for unity, peace and love.

Daily Guideposts is a book of uplifting devotions. To order the 2021 edition, visit shopguideposts.org/dailyguideposts, write to Guideposts, P.O. Box 5815, Harlan, IA 51593-1315 or call (800) 932-2145. The book is available in a hardcover version for $16.95 or in a softcover large-print version for $17.95, plus shipping and processing.

View Comments