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An Open Letter to My Conservative and Liberal Friends

November 12, 2016

My spirit has been so grieved over the past few days...well 18 months actually. I have heard and seen things from family and friends that simply have caught me off guard.

I hold a strong conviction that people are who they are and they believe what they believe based on their own experiences and perceptions. Myself included...I am my own divinely and uniquely created person...just like you. So I don't have any desire to judge anyone else's thoughts, beliefs or opinions. They are yours...you own them and God is the only one who will judge them.

My spirit is grieved however, because of the malicious language and behaviors being tossed about by both my liberal and conservative friends. It disheartens me, because I know you both love me and my family. I know you love me and my family because you have been to my house, eaten my food, played football with my son's and we have grieved together during the loss of our loved ones.

My spirit is grieved because my son's girlfriend told me about her Muslim intern who was assaulted on the bus, my niece's are scared to go to school, the news reports of white power being chanted in the halls of high schools; and the thought that keeps crossing my mind is will I have to buy my two sons, college educated, African-American, tax paying, respectful men; bullet proof vests for Christmas.

Right now what's important to me, is not whether you're pro-life or pro-choice, gay or straight, whether you're for immigration or not, or whether you believe that you have the right to carry a gun or that they should be restricted. All of those things are answerable to God. Jesus commanded us to preach the Gospel, not to persecute and vilify those who don't choose to receive it. Instead we are to walk in love and be ambassadors for Christ.

What I care about, what's important to me... is that my sons live in a country that doesn't honor the values and beliefs of the KKK. A country that doesn't believe that stronger together means that anything and everything goes. A country that doesn't believe that making America great again, means lynching black men or denying people of color their inalienable rights.

It may not be about race to you...and maybe that's because your race is not the one in danger of being treated unjustly. But at least understand that for me and mine...race matters...and I want my husband, my sons, my nephews and all of those yet to come to feel safe in the country that their enslaved ancestors helped to build and their forefathers served as enlisted men and women in the armed forces to keep this country free.

I still believe that when Jesus replied “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” That He actually meant it! "‭Matthew‬ ‭22:37-40 ‭NLT‬

So I'm am doing as Jesus commanded and loving God and loving both my conservative and liberal friends alike!

I love you with the love of Christ and you can't make me stop!❤️

Blessings,

Shileste

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