Gifts of Grace
Author: Nicole Speer
Proverbs 27 tells us the best friends are those who are not afraid to wound us in the service of helping us become the people we strive to be. By this measure, God has blessed me with an abundance of exceptional friends! Because my friends love me and believe in my capacity for growth, they always let me know when my actions and words fail to align with my values.
I strive to return this favor. Unfortunately, as a white woman, the wounds I inflict on my friends who identify as Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) are more often born of ignorance than good intentions. Every day my BIPOC friends are wounded by implicit and explicit messages telling them they are less worthy and less valued than
I am. And sometimes, inadvertently, my ignorance about my whiteness amplifies those messages and deepens their wounds.
It is a gift of incomprehensible grace that my BIPOC friends are willing to take on the emotional burden of befriending a white woman who is steeped in our country’s racism. Driven by a love I do not understand and cannot possibly deserve, they show up for me despite the risk of unintentional wounds. They shine the grace of God into my life and teach me how to give grace to those who wound me.