…and Justice for All

When you see me, who do you see? A Black face?

Someone who evokes rage or fright,

Undeserving mercy, grace?


When you see me, who do you see? Blind and white

and deaf; loath to step into shoes

of your pain, color, grief or plight?


When you see me, when will you see that I am

a child of God blessed by the Lamb?


I have been rocked back and forth this year by the violence in our country over race relations and a serious lack of understanding, grace and communication between us all. To be frank, it reminds me of another decade.

In the 1960s we faced a country horribly divided by racial tension. We watched in revulsion scenes on our televisions of federal marshals escorting young, black children into white schools for the first time while being spat upon by angry white housewives.

We saw Black folks being attacked by dogs and fire houses, arrested for sitting at a lunch counter, and heard about the murders of three young civil rights workers. And at the end of 1964, the first Civil Rights Acts passed, which outlawed discrimination in voting and segregation in schools, at work and in places that served the public.

In 1968 we watched the Freedom March – a five-day walk from Montgomery to Selma, Alabama where thousands of non-violent demonstrators of all races faiths walked to the steps of the capitol building. State troopers attacked the unarmed marchers with tear gas and billy clubs. We mourned the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and two months later of Bobby Kennedy. The second Civil Rights Act was passed which outlawed discrimination in housing.

I cannot, even now, get those images out of my mind when I see Black men shot down by police or when I view disturbing videos of police officers clearly out of control. And I don’t understand if just and righteous police officers can wound and capture a terrorist in New Jersey, why it’s not possible, with 3-5 officers present, arrest a man of color without a fatality – particularly those who are unarmed, who have their hands in the air or who are already on the ground.

We need the courage to have public discussions because this is not about one man or woman – a possible offender or a survivor of racism or a police officer. It is about our justice system which does not apply the same justice toward all.

I reached out to my friend Lilka Raphael, a sister in Christ, to ask if she would engage in this discussion with me. Because while I can sympathize and step into her pain and frustration for moments in time, she lives it every day. Because Lilka is a Black woman with a Black husband and two sons for whom she worries each time they walk out the door. And she said, “Yes.”

So beginning next Friday, Lilka and I will begin to write letters to each other, begin to ask and answer questions, begin to talk openly about our own perspectives, our responses, and our hope. Because we each derive hope through Christ, and we each see all our brothers and sisters as clay molded in love by our gracious Creator.

We pray you will look forward to our letters, read them, and engage with us in conversation to create healing and reconciliation in this online community and in your own communities.

In love and prayer,

Susan Irene Fox and Lilka Raphael


“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NKJV

“You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others [do], but let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6 

“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.” Mark 14:38 NKJV

Pray and Persist

Sometimes in the pursuit of getting from point A to point Z we are often met with a few obstacles, distractions and detours.  Sometimes we can clearly see our destination but not the best route to get there. What we may think is a direct line between two points often turns out to be a circle that leads us right back to where we started! Or, what is presented as the best route possible turns out to be nothing more than a dead-end. So what should we do when we can see where we want to go but not quite how to get there?

Pray and Persist.

Pray to affirm that you are not only on the right path, but indeed seeking the correct destination!

What at times I thought was God’s will for me turned out to be the biggest headaches and left me suffering for them years later. I finally wised up and now pray first, then plan. I used to precede with my plan first and when it began to fall apart pray for God to hold it together. However, my plans were often never God’s intention for me in the first place!

Praying to God and listening to what He says gives you the confidence necessary to persist on whatever path He may lead you. I am the kind of person who wants to know the who, what, when, where and how all lined up in front of me before I even begin.

However, my walk with God leaves a lot of what I want to see before I start…lacking. I have learned that my walk with God forces me to take steps of faith even when I don’t know where I’m going. This requires that I lean on God, listen to Him and have an ever-increasing faith that He will do what is necessary to get me where I need to go. I no longer require all the answers. It is required of me that I trust God to be with me on my journey. I can keep going because I now know I don’t have to know how I’m going to reach my destination but merely trust in Who is going to get me there.

If you have a situation that you’re not quite sure of, or if you are traveling a path that God has placed you on yet doubt is attacking you at every turn, pray and persist!

“Commit your works to the LORD, And your thoughts will be established.” Proverbs 16:3 NKJV