The Handkerchief

Finding commonality through one simple gesture of love

Valerie J. Alexander, Ph.D.
The Bigger Picture

--

(Photo by ernest et lulu on Unsplash)

In early 2020, before the pandemic lock-down, before the world knew the names Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, before the Black Lives Matter summer demonstrations of racial reckoning, I had the pleasure of worshipping at a church in the northern mountains of Georgia. The people in this church were compassionate, loving, and welcoming to me and my family.

The members of this small church are all white. My family and I are black. Why does that matter? Well, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t. It shouldn’t. We are all God’s children. We should all love one another, no matter our perceived differences. But I mention it for a reason. On this day, this congregation showed me love.

I was an invited guest preacher on this Sunday morning. It was Black History month in the United States, but it was also the month we celebrate love. The goal of my sermon was to offer a message of commonality between Christians (regardless of racial differences), and to also share my experiences as a Black woman. I had discussed my intentions with the senior pastor beforehand and he was supportive of this Black woman preacher speaking to his congregation.

After contemplating what message I would bring to these good people, it turned out that they were…

--

--

Valerie J. Alexander, Ph.D.
The Bigger Picture

Political scientist, sociologist, and theologian by training. I write about politics, racism, faith, and whatever hits me. Twitter: @Alexander247_9