[Still] Weeping with Those Who Weep: A Response to Charlottesville

I know, I know. Charlottesville isn’t the headline anymore. There’s been a hurricane. There have been more reasons to weep.

More things to heal from.

But open displays of hate mean something different from what hurricanes mean. I worry that we will try to sweep it all under the carpet (again) too quickly.

Charlottesville happened while I was teaching Bible for two weeks at a dance school in Canada’s capital city. I watched excerpts and cried. Grieved. But didn’t know how to respond.

Honestly, I am still working out how to respond. But one thing I did do: I asked for the response of others.

Monique Jennings is a friend of mine. She also happens to be my executive assistant, and if you’ve ever emailed me, you’ve probably interacted with her. She’s a deeply compassionate woman of faith, and I’m honoured to work with her. Also, she’s African-American.

She wrote a response for me, and I promised to share it. Here it is.


Still Weeping with Those Who Weep


“ Lately my prayers have sounded a lot like, “Jesus when you come back, can you just tell them one thing? Tell them how you made us too. Tell them how you created us just the same. Tell them how we are not taking up anymore space than we were created to.”

The words above were penned by Arielle Estoria but last week her prayer became my prayer.  I prayed after watching a video a friend of mine put together explaining, as best as she could, the emotions that bombarded her heart as she tried to push away the reality of what was happening in Charlottesville.

Honestly, sometimes pushing away is easier. There is the fear that words will fall on deaf ears and tears will be left to hit the floor.

I remember thinking, as I watched tears roll down her face, both anger and sadness.  Sadness because we are sisters in Christ which means we are to bear each others burdens (Galatians 6:2), because she was clearly carrying a weighty burden.

And anger because I knew there would be many who would watch her video and wouldn’t respond with empathy; sadly her burden would be considered invalid and exaggerated.

We all have different experiences, and your experience may be completely different than my experience, or my friend’s experience.  But we all have felt warm tears rush down our faces. Most of us, if not all of us, have felt isolated in pain, misunderstood, unaccepted or less than.

Imagine for just a moment–or you may not have to imagine, because you may have experienced this before–but either way just journey with me. Imagine sitting  with both dried and fresh tears on your face, nursing an aching heart, and those who you expect to comfort you, turn their heads.

This is what many African Americans experience when they cry out for justice or even just an acknowledgement that there is a need for justice.

Can I offer you, from a place of love, a tidbit of advice? Please, don’t meet our tears with reasons why our feelings aren’t valid.  Don’t give us reasons as to why we shouldn’t feel the way we feel.

Sit with us, weep with us and hear us. We are pursuing love, hoping to find it in you; this world has met us with enough animosity and rejection.

For those who have listened, who have cried with us, prayed for us and loved on us, thank you. You have no idea how much you reflecting the heart of God in this area has helped. You are a breath of fresh air and you are appreciated.

If you’d like to hear what my friend had to say, you can watch here.  Her emotion is strong. Her expression comes both from a place of frustration and love, as do my words here to you.

And if you have read this far, thank you. Thank you so much for hearing me.

Pray for Charlottesville.  Pray for our Nation. Pray for those hurting. The headlines have passed but the grieved hearts have not. Pray for those with anger and hate in their hearts and pray and ask God what action He would have you to take.

Be open, you’d be surprised how much of an impact you can make with a gesture as simple as sitting over a cup of coffee or tea, listening and learning of someone who looks and lives differently than you.

We all have stories, every single person on earth. Stories worth being told. Some of us just don’t know that there is someone out there who cares enough to listen.

Be a gift to someone. Show that you care. It probably won’t cost you much more than your time and your comfort.


Monique Bio Pic

Monique Jennings was born and raise in California and now resides in Texas. She is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, aunt to four beautiful girls and a self-claimed foodie. She enjoys a great book, good conversation and a competitive basketball game in her free time.







* Post Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash







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