About the Author

Michelle Reyes, Ph.D., is an Indian American pastor’s wife, writer, and activist. She is also the Vice President of the Asian American Christian Collaborative and writes regularly on faith, culture, and justice. Michelle lives in Austin, TX with her husband and two kids. Follow her on IG @michelleamireyes.

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  1. Michelle,
    When crisis hits, people default to blame and drawing lines like right/wrong, us/them, love/hate. When Jesus gave the disciples their marching orders, He told them to love God and love others…period. He didn’t say don’t love sinners. He didn’t say be an exclusive club. He didn’t say love some and hate others based on your own conditions. I’m so sorry that you have been the scapegoat of others close-mindedness. So thankful for a God who shares our burdens with us and who provides a safe refuge under the cover of His wings. Asking the Lord to make me a safe harbor for hurting souls as well…
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Amen. Michelle it is close mindedness and keyboard warriors that hide behind their screens and pass this horrible rhetoric which is COMPLETELY Untrue!!

      • Keyboard Warriors! What an apt description. Amen, Jas. The lies of racism are things we must all fight against. It is sin. And we can each continue to educate ourselves to the lives and experiences of others, and learn from one another how to show each other more dignity and kindness and respect. We can do this together.

  2. My heart goes out to you, dear Michelle, for the unwarranted unkindness you’ve been receiving. In God’s holy world of heaven, we will not have such torment, and that is so wonderful to look forward to. In the meantime, you are right – we need to have that safe place in Jesus’ arms. I pray you may feel that special comforting love surround you throughout this whole experience, and also that these circumstances may bring about a revival of faith in Christ and help to stem the nasty tide of injustice and racial vilification.
    May God bless you abundantly,

    • I agree! And join you in prayer for Michelle. As you said Jesus went through being attacked verbally and more and sought the face of God for comfort. Seek the face of Jesus. Life is so crazy right now and as others have mentioned there is a lot of anger, turmoil uncertainty and loss on a global scale. I hope you let the words you have read wash off your back and leave it in the gutter where it belongs!

    • Thank you, Camilla, for your compassion and kindness. And you’re right. This was not the way it was meant to be. I love your heart for revival. Amen, sister! Praying for that too.

  3. Michelle, I have been following your writing about this topic with my prayers, and want to thank you for your sweet reasonableness in the heat of it all. There are times when I’m certain that my learning curve (as a white, middle aged mum in rural USA where we all look the same) is nearly vertical, and I find myself fearful about speaking out, because I’m not sure exactly how to be most helpful. I’m grateful for younger voices that come with both confidence and knowledge.

    • So grateful for these words, Michele, and your desire to continue to learn and lean in. We all need to keep learning each other’s stories, and be humble to see things from a different point of view. Keep listening, sister! And use your privilege and opportunities to help pass the mic, so that more hurting peoples can share their stories too.

  4. Michelle,
    Finding solace in turning to God and his word is so necessary at any time and even more so now at this time of global crisis. There is so much pain out there, from the virus itself and for those whose lives are so dramatically changed by a loss of a job or by the fact that they can’t even find simple things in stores like toilet paper or hand sanitizer. Then those who had to make changes in schedules for life events such as school graduations, new careers or weddings, even having a baby during this time is a challenge. Disappointment and frustration turns to anger and blame at someone. There can be so much meanness out there. I ended up “snoozing” a local facebook group for 30 days because it was so upsetting to me to see all the meanness and negativity. I am considering just leaving the group after 30 days because I think of what would Jesus do or say about it, I don’t want to associate with meanness and negativity. May God Bless you during this time. We as humans can be stronger and make it through this time of crisis together.

    • I’m glad you mentioned this too, Judy: Because Asian Americans are not only navigating the fear of Covid-19, but also the contagion of racism. It is a double threat, and makes the racial fatigue all the more present and heavy. Grateful for your prayers.

  5. Michelle,

    I’m sorry that is going on in your country. We watch as your president well I won’t comment there, it’s happening in my home country of Australia too. I live in New Zealand and I haven’t seen it here but that’s probably due to not witnessing it yet online. It makes me very sad. Racism and therefore racial oppression is not acceptable in any country regarding any particular race, gender you name it.

    The reality is we live in a broken world and I always have thought racist people are broken themselves and they are the minority worldwide. I stand with you I’ve encountered it too being of Australian Indian descent. I’ve lived in the world with comments about me and my mum just because her skin is dark.

    You are right we do need space for safety for our mind, soul and body. Jesus himself was a victim too of racism just in a different way.

    Kia Kaha sister – it means stay strong in Maori. This will pass. Thank God we have our Father and Jesus and we have each other. I can feel your hurt in your words. I wish we could meet so I could give you a big hug. Praying for you x Thsnk you for posting about this.

    • Thanks for this good word, Jas. I wrote down your phrase “Kia Kaha.” That is beautiful. And such a powerful reminder of why we need each other. Grateful for you.

  6. I ask Jesus to bless you and put his arms of love around you and comfort you. The Bible says we will have trials and tribulations in this world but our God will go before us and help us if we will only trust and believe in him. The Bible says love God and love your neighbor as yourself.

    God Bless you and keep you in his care.

    • Thank you, Julia! Grateful for your prayers. May we all continue to pray for God to break the systems of racism in this world, and for the church to show the true love of Christ.

  7. my heart goes out to this … I live in another country so things are very different here , our focus is on getting thru this and helping one another right now. our tv’s have many commercials asking us to work together and be kind ….please stay home. but find a way to reach out in kindness to others who are alone.
    my country is also multi cultured but I haven’t heard our Asian community having issues, they’re actually well respected in this time as doctors and bankers helping others. they are an important part of our society like any other culture.
    this definetly can be a time for the best in people to come out or the worst in people to come out..lets pray God uses this time to heal hearts and help people think clearer.

    • Thank you, Krissy. Now I’m curious as to where you live! You’re right about times like this bringing out the best and worst in people. May this be a time that followers of Jesus step up and have the world know that we are Christians by our love.

  8. “When we step away from the threats and pains of this world, we can pray that God will comfort our broken hearts and heal and bind up our wounds.” Yes. Thank you for these words, friend. My heart breaks with you for the racism Asian Americans are facing today. Lord Jesus, come!

    • Thank you, Becky! Grateful for hearing my story and for responding in love. This is what solidarity in the body of Christ looks like. When one part suffers, we all suffer.

  9. Thank you for humbly and vulnerably sharing your experience. Holding space for the pain to activate healing and for healing to testify to resilience is our birthright as humans. However, most of us don’t cultivate our capacity to do this. Jesus showed us how to thrive in this space. May we see Him, know Him, and become like him. May we claim and grow our ability to know how and when to advance and retreat.

    Shalom to you, friend!!!
    Lucretia

    • As always, I am grateful for your friendship and support, Lucretia. Grateful also for the good work you do in teaching and resources for anti-racist work. More people need to know about the courses available at Brownicity. It is gold!

  10. Thank you Michelle for candidly sharing your heart in in this devotion. I feel that today it’s Azian America, forever it’s been African American, yesterday it was the Mexican. When the rhetoric begins with our Nation leaders and continues, we need to call them out. It is wrong and it is ugly on all levels. We need to pray for Unity and Acceptance of Gods Rainbow creation on man and women, that’s All, His children! We need to ask God to give us His heart on these issues. As Camilla said, that “these circumstances may bring about a revival of faith in Christ and help to stem the nasty tide of injustice and racial vilification”. Thank you Michelle and may you be encouraged as God works in and through us. Love my Asian Families and Culture.

  11. Your “safe space” ideas offer a wise course of action, Michelle! It may also be helpful to consider the rude, racist people on social media as the minority. Because they’re LOUD, we tend to think they represent many. Another course of action might be to ignore/avoid these noisy ranters. They are rarely interested in others’ points of view, or in seeking truth. There’s no need to become target practice for poisoned arrows of hatred.

  12. Hi Michelle,
    I was so sorry to read of the racism that you and others have experienced but, not the first time I’ve heard about it in your country. Your leader certainly promotes this type of offence. I have also read that other (in)courage writers have been experiencing racism as well. I will keep you all in my prayers and hopefully by spreading the love of Jesus, Christians will bring about a change regarding this type of mentality.
    May you find God’s peace and blessings in these difficult times.
    Sandy (from Canada)

  13. I am so sorry that you and all people that are not “white” are experiencing this racism. It makes me as a white person of European descent both sad and disgusted. It is compounded when I hear or read racist, xenophobic comments by other people that claim Christ. Racism has no place in the hearts of those that claim Jesus. It doesn’t belong in any heart, but especially those of us that call ourselves the sons and daughters of the heavenly Father.

  14. Michelle,

    Sweet sister so sorry you have to endure these racist remarks. They usually come from uneducated people who just want someone to blame for the crisis. Trouble is they blame a whole race for something only a few people caused. They aren’t acting like good Christians. We are to love everyone regardless of race, color, creed. I don’t look at social media that much. Just Face Book & only what is important. Don’t watch news all that much. For me it is information overload. During this time I do what I can for others. Yesterday I took MIL to doctor’s, got an x-ray, & drove back to Walmart for meds & grocery shopping. She had a good probably the best in a long time. Also hubby & his nephew did a big job for her. Right now times are scary & hard. “Give your worries to God & let Him iron out your problems”. Philippians 4: 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. “Relax God has it covered”. Psalm 9:10 Those who know your name trust in you,
    for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.

    Blessings 🙂

    • So sad that people have used this to stir trouble when we need to support and love everyone. I have been home two months to care for a sick dad and needed to quarantined long before they asked but we all need compassion and that physical connection of just a hug from family or friends. while still grieving my husbands passing and then a cancer diagnosis and caring for my dad you realize life is just too short. If this crisis could have taught us anything, it is the fragility of life and how to love because you may not be granted that next day with your loved ones. Pick up the phones and tell those you love that you love them and ignore the people who just find a reason for blame or fault. It is sad you were targeted due to people who can hide behind their keyboards. Social media has been a good tool but unfortunately also allows people to misuse and hurt people they do not even know. We can only pray for them as they need it. Blessings to all who like you write and give us all hope on days when we most need it. God bless you always

  15. You remember you are Daughter of the king it does not matter what people say. God see the people who are being racist. Unless they repent say sorry come to know Jesus they will be sorry people for what they say and do when they leave this earth. As they have to face God. I would not like to be them. It is funny how people who are racist when they are ill and have to go Hospital they don’t care what religion or color the Doctor or the Nurses skin is or what country they came from as long aa they make them well. They are nice to them. Then when out of Hospital they speak their minds say what they think. They don’t stop to think of people from other countries why they want out of the countries they live in. With different colors of skins. If they where brought up in thoses county’s had to live like them. They be alot more thank full and see why they want out. Want a better life for themselves and their families. They them might not judge or be a racist as they are being. But we the saved have to do what this song I learnt in Sunday School as Child. It is so true as Jesus would want us saved to do it. It is and it goes like this. Jesus Loves all the Children of the World Red and Yellow Black and White. We are do the same. Plus pray for all the people of the world as we are the Children of Jesus. Not be Racist. Teach if have kids them to love all kids no matter what color or skin they have or what they look like. Remember don’t let Satan the Old Devil have you think things like Racist get to. Yes it hard not too. But you remember you are Daughter of the king. That king is Jesus he Love You no matter what color your skin is no matter what you look like. Look up the Father Love letter on youtube just type in father’s love letter on Youtube it will come up it will let you know how much God loves you. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xxxx

  16. Michelle, thank you sharing your story. There’s always something about racism in this world. We need to move on in God’s love. Pray for those who aren’t for us to help burning coals on their heads. Romans 12:20. Why burning coals? That way, when they are traveling elsewhere they will have a fire to start and be able to make bread (food).
    I’ve been reading Jesus is Calling book at night. It’s so close to what HE wants me to hear from Him right now in virus era. Read scripture in a bible that has devotion on the side. I went more in depth of reading before and after scripture verse that was to be read. Then read devotion and a few verses of scripture shared there. Amazing how Jesus helps our hearts:daily, moment by moment.
    May you feel God’s presence in your daily walk with him.
    Becky Lowmaster

  17. Hi Michelle,

    Thank you for writing this! I’m an American of Chinese descent (I was born and raised in the U.S.; my parents were Chinese immigrants). I live in a non-racially diverse city, and after getting glared at one too many times in public, I have taken to putting my hair in a ponytail, wearing a baseball cap, and keeping my head down on the few occasions I venture out for a walk, or to get groceries. I am also concerned about the way people in the complex we live in will respond to my family, if one of us comes down with Covid-19. This is indeed an extra burden to bear that has brought me to tears at times… so thank you for the reminder that God sees and cares about all of the racial ugliness and unfairness accompanying the pandemic!

  18. Dear Michelle,

    It angers me to hear that you and other Americans of Asian ancestry are being abused by ignorant fools. “It is as sport to a fool to do mischief:
    ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭10:23‬a KJV‬‬

    I don’t do social media so I am behind on what is happening out there. I very much appreciate your article for enlightening me.

    “….for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”
    ‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭16:7‬b KJV‬‬

    You ARE loved, dear sister! Never forget His truth!

    Donna