About the Author

Dorina is a multicultural speaker, author, Bible teacher, foodie, mentor, and trail runner. Her devotional, Walk, Run, Soar, will be released from Bethany House in September 2020. She helps people navigate grief and chase after God's glory. Dorina and her husband Shawn are raising three brave girls in Central California.

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  1. I love the tools that Dorina reminds us that we have already been equipped with.❤️It makes me think of the verse: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭1:7‬

    • The 5 steps are such a great roadmap….one I intend to start following today. Thank you Dorina….really grateful for your words.

  2. I have brought the subject of racism up in my community, with my small groups, friends, and neighbors. We are also fasting and praying while we are attending protests. I also plan on sending letters to our mayor and governor. It is very sad that the church has allowed this to go on for so long. I hope and pray that the church takes a stand (from the pulpit too) with people of color, grieves and hurts with them, and is now willing to listen to their pain and stories to learn what more we can do.

    • I agree. the church in a whole has let lots happen with race issues. it’s upsetting as our own messiah was a culture that many detest. after thousands of years and millions of Jews suffering I have never seen any protests for this culture . I agree the church must rise up and speak and teach on racism of all colors and cultures.
      I remember bonhoeffer trying to wake up the German church to take a stand but they chose silence and we all know what happened..

    • Kelly, thank you for using your influence and being an example of what Dorina describes here.

    • Kelly, your commitment to prayer and moving where God leads you to action is exactly what I’m talking about in this article. Thank you for being an example of an Esther in our present situation!

  3. I have not heard that George Floyd was a godly and good man. Quite the opposite. He once held a gun to a pregnant woman’s belly while his friends ransacked her house. He has a long criminal record. He made bad choices life choices. That said, he did not deserve to die like he did and I pray justice will be done and the officers punished for their actions. What bothers me so much in all this is the rant that all police officers are bad and are racists. It’s not true and not fair. So many put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe and many have been killed doing that. They have families too. We are losing law and order in this beautiful country. It breaks my heart that now all white people are being called racists. I am white and I do not appreciate it. God doesn’t see skin color and neither do I. The church is becoming divided on the issue. God help us. I do agree that we should pray and seek God for hearts to change. We need to preach the gospel more than ever! Jesus is the only one who can cause the change we need. Not protests and riots. I hope you aren’t advocating that. And please please do not send money to BLM. They are not helping and the black community never sees a dime. They take in millions of dollars and just pad their own pockets. It’s disgraceful. They are also involved with antifa which is a terrorist organization.

    Peace and blessings

      • Dear Carol, I was expecting a lot of backlash but took a chance to speak my feelings. God bless you for your support. I haven’t had much of that lately. I’m called a racist and uneducated when I don’t agree George Floyd was an upstanding citizen, a saint of a man. It really hurts because I think we need more truth told and I love my fellow man no matter what color they are. We ALL need Jesus! My prayer is for God to bring a revival to not only this country but the whole world! Only them will we see real change! Peace!

        • Cindy and Carol,
          I left these words in comments further below, but wanted to place them here as well.

          First, as Dorina originally stated, “Floyd’s death has quickly become a symbol in our country of police brutality and racial injustice.” In this post, he was not portrayed as a saint or anything other than a man wrongfully killed, which he was. His murder seemed to serve as the final straw for many who have experienced, lived, breathed, and been crushed by deep-rooted, systemic racism.

          And second. As a white woman trying earnestly to recognize (and undo) systems that have benefitted me and not others solely based on the color of our skin, one thing I’ve become aware of (through the teaching of others) is that race and color are indeed seen. And created. And loved by the Creator. To be “colorblind” is to be dismissive of that, and subsequently of others. As it was shared with me a few years ago when I had no idea, I’m committed to sharing this with others who may not be aware yet.

        • Cindy and Carol, first, I wanted to say that I hear your anger here, and I sense the well of emotion behind each of your words. I know when I feel this way, it can be hard for me to hear what someone else is saying or listen to where they are coming from. I really want to encourage you to spend some time in prayer – like Dorina so beautifully encouraged all of us to do in her first step – allowing God to not only sift through thoughts and feelings, but also the information and bias that all of us have. Dorina’s five steps are such a good guide for all of us.
          Second, I wanted to specifically respond to your comment about how God doesn’t see color. Like Anna said, God created color, and in the same way we marvel and enjoy a variety of colors in nature and art, our own human variety is no less wonderful, nor is it on accident. Also, ethnicity isn’t something God temporarily gives us, it’s eternal. Revelation specifically describes the way every tribe and nation and tongue will worship God together in Heaven. Our differences aren’t going away, and saying we don’t see them would mean we are refusing see and acknowledge aspects of our God that he wanted us to see, know and celebrate.

    • Cindy..,Amen to your above Note.., yes, you are right George has a bad many times prison record, and yes I agree he should still not have died this way… I also agree with all of what you have said… we are to love one another… whatever the Color… but seems white people are now getting the racism against them in Canada as well. Riots are NOT the way to go… “Love one another ,” says the Lord God and work things out PEACEFULLY. ..”vengeance is mine ,“ says the Lord .
      Thankyou for stating your beliefs in a loving way.

      • Thank you Cheryl. Many do not like what I have to say and I get hateful comments when I speak up. But how can anyone agree that what we see happening is the right way? It’s tearing us apart. Lord Jesus, help hearts to open up to you! God bless you!

        • Cindy and Cheryl, I echo your prayer of asking God to open hearts, but I think it’s also wise to consider our own hearts within that prayer. I continue to ask the Holy Spirit to expose my blind spots and any racial biases I have. As a white person, it’s impossible to know what it’s like to walk around in darker skin, so it’s impossible for me to write-off the experiences of those who do. Dorina calls on us to be reflective rather than reactionary. Under her wise directive, and with Esther as a brave, admirable example, I’m working on a knee-jerk posture of listening over the belief that my perspective is the beginning and end of the matter—because other people’s perspective matters. So agree or disagree, may we be good listeners first and foremost.

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I was about to post something similar. What we know of this man is not what the mainstream media is putting out there. He was out in prison 6? 7 ? times. What happened to that poor man is tragic. However-It upsets me that the focus on racism has become the center focus. If we are not to see color- why are some insistent on constant division? If people would actually do some personal research they would discover that there are more black on black deaths than white in black deaths- and more white men dying at the hands of police than blacks. Even though there is a larger percentage of black arrests. But, some just go along with the narrative.
      The Black community has never- in all history been more well represented. Every position possible – including the Presidency- the highest position in the world. …has been held by a man of color.
      It seems as if a percentage of people want to continue to divide and fight. Not something that God smiles on. All were created in His image.
      Perhaps people should start really looking at the issues that ‘cause’ such violence, such unrest.
      If your honest, you might see that it isn’t poverty from “lack of opportunities” that causes violence. It’s sin. My parents and grandparents lived through the Great Depression. They we’re hungry. My grandparents would take a walk while the children ate dinner because of lack of food. Did this cause them to loot-or become violent or steal? No- they were Godly people.
      The problem is sin. Period. Unwed mothers-fatherless homes in the Black community is 70%.
      You can start there. Sin is what is the driving force here.
      These groups- such as BLM- want to stir up racism— racism against white people. Wanting to bring violence to them. How is this right? Not all BLM protestors are wanting violence.i have a co-worker who is a member. However- I have seen posts on FB (2weeks ago) calling death to white people -and their babies. Wow…….. I have since deleted my FB account. I can not have any shalom with all of the static and hatred out there and seeing this post today only stirs the pot for me.
      Let me clarify my heart-
      What happened to George Floyd was 100% wrong-evil.
      Those policemen are and will be paying for their crimes.
      But those who want to continue with the narrative are not doing themselves or anyone any justice. What IS theIr goal here? Seriously? Is it to please God? Not hardly. Not at all. Which is why we have the continuing strife.

      • Dear June, you speak VOLUMES of truth and better than I ever could have! Thank you! I 100% agree with you! I have deleted my Facebook account for the same reason. So much hate now directed at whites who are completely innocent. Bless you for speaking truth! We’re hearing only the other side but we need to stand up for truth, not a fictional narrative. My parents lived through the Great Depression as well and were hungry and poor. They did not scream for justice or blame anyone for it. They accepted their lot and my Dad worked very hard to feed and support his family. No whining. No rioting. No protesting. No violence or stealing from those who had more. He was a good and honorable man. I know there are many in the black community just like that and are embarrassed of how they are being represented now. I pray for all those innocent of wrong doing no matter what color they are.

        • Amen! And thank you.
          Perfectly put-‘I pray for all those innocent of wrong doing no matter what color they are’.

      • Jane, thank you for joining us here in the (in)courage community today. While I could spend my entire Saturday refuting your many claims in this response, I don’t believe that will be helpful for either one of us. Instead, I must tell you that my heart is deeply grieved by your final words.

        My good friend Dorina—my fellow (in)courage writer, my sister in Christ, and an incredibly wise woman who I know for a fact has spent hours on her knees in prayer about this post and these issues—shared her heart with our community here. And your response is to question her desire to please God? No, ma’am. That is unacceptable to me. This is a loving community of women who love Jesus and follow God. Though we may have diverse perspectives and experiences, we insist on having hard conversations in love, extending grace to one another just as God has extended grace to each one of us. We are united as sisters and writers to have hard conversations, including ones about racial issues, and that is purely because of our desire to please God. For you to question that is extremely hurtful.

        • Thank you Mary, well said. A friend posted this devotion on FB. I was overwhelmed with emotion, because so far I have not heard many comments from Christians that have been anything but racists to the extreme regarding protesting of decades worth of systemic racial inequality in our country. George Floyd was not a perfect man, but I see him walking with Jesus, because Jesus walked with imperfect men.

          • Thank you, Terri. I’m grateful for your comments and the reminder that Jesus walked with imperfect people like me. I don’t see anywhere in Scripture that says we are appointed to judge our brothers and sisters. And truly, the point of this article is not to sit and debate George Floyd’s character. May we all follow Esther’s lead in going to God first.

    • Cindy, thank you for sharing your thoughts with our community today. I think it’s possible some of your comments here might be misunderstood, so I want to clarify a few things. First of all, I’m certain you are not indicating that any person—George Floyd included—deserves to be abused and killed based on his past behavior. As believers in the saving grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, I am hopeful that you agree that each and every one of us—regardless of race, regardless of past behaviors (because, as Scripture reminds us, every single one of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God)—is a man or woman created by God, in His image. As such, every one of us is loved by God.

      Second of all, I have read Dorina’s post thoroughly and repeatedly, and I do not see any evidence that she is calling you or any one person a racist. This beautiful, biblical post is a call for every believer to pray about this and to do what Jesus Himself did—love and speak up for the marginalized.

      Finally, I’d like to ask you to refrain from advising anyone on this site where to spend their money. As a white person, I’m not sure how you might have so much knowledge about whether the Black community is benefited by the Black Lives Matter organization. But even if you have personal, accurate, inside knowledge, this is not the time or place to share that. Dorina’s post does NOT encourage donating to any particular organization. Instead, she has lovingly and bravely pointed us to Scripture and encouraged us to pray and to help others. I urge you to join Dorina, myself, and the (in)courage community in prayer today, as we seek God’s will for our lives in such a time as this.

    • I totally agree with you. I am glad that someone like you had the guts to speak up and shed some light on the “Floyd myth”. It is heartbreaking the way he died but he was not a good man. His life for the most part was beset with criminal deeds. I am appalled the way he is being glorified. In a mass I heard last Sunday he was even compared to Jesus in passing. I pray the Floyd hype is put to rest soon and the change or reforms in policing are not exaggerated in a way that ALL police are treated like villains.

      • Babes, can I point you to Romans 3:23, where it is made clear that not one of us is a good man? Not one. Not you, not me, not one. And yet, Jesus died for all of us. God created each one of us, and He loves each one of us. And He sent His son to die for the sins of every one of us. There is no excuse for “but he was not a good man” here or in any conversation about a person’s untimely death. Because if a person’s good and bad are to be weighed in the debate over how we deserve to be treated, that means you and I deserve to be abused and even killed as well. Because all have sinned. All have fallen short of the glory of God. This is not a myth or hype. This is Truth from God’s word.

        • Thank you, Mary. I’m giving you a standing ovation right now for your clear, Biblical replies. Thank you for stating what SO many of us are feeling, so thoroughly.

        • I think what some are thinking is …luke 6: 43-45 you will be known for your fruits. so good brings good fruit..while it is very true we all have fallen short of being sinless we are called to see thru the fairness of a situation and look at the fruit of a person’s life. were they good people in society ? we’re they in and out of trouble ? what did their own life tell us..

    • Thank you for taking time to engage today. I’m not sure if you knew George Floyd personally. I did not. I did learn more about him and his heart in this article printed by Christianity Today: https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/may/george-floyd-ministry-houston-third-ward-church.html
      These words helped me learn and consider who he as as a human being. No matter his past, he was an image bearer of God. I grieve the loss of his life because of that. I’m also grateful I am not judged by my past. It’s an unimaginable gift to walk in His grace because of Christ’s death and resurrection.

      Of course, my post is not about George Floyd and his past, but rather, about what we can learn from Esther and her example to pray, fast, gather community, step out into strategic action where God leads us, to speak truth and to leverage our privileges, gifts, and resources for the vulnerable. I’m grateful God gives us His word and examples of godly women He used.

      • Dorina, thank you for this call to seek prayer and God’s Word for wisdom and discernment and the fresh, new insight into the story of Esther.

        Three friends and I (three white and one Hispanic) have maintained an active video chat on the Marco Polo app during these last months. We had an incredibly good conversation about race and prejudice this week as we did some soul-searching and examined the ways we may or may not be affected by the attitudes and the culture around us. It’s a gift to have friends who can speak so candidly into each other’s lives, challenge each other, and dig beneath the superficial.

        I remember once being advised, as a parent, not to ask my child for a reason why when they did something wrong (although of course there are times we need to know!) when evaluating the punishment. To ask for a reason was like giving them an “out”—implying that there were some “whys” that could justify their behavior. To me, George Floyd’s past isn’t relevant to the manner of his death; there isn’t a “why” that can make it okay.

        I love you, friend!

    • These are really confusing times and we are inundated with so much information and misinformation. But we can always find the truth in the word of God. One of my favorite verses stirs my imagination and brings me to tears every.single.time.

      After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” Revelation 7:9-12

      I can’t help but ask when John is describing this heavenly scene, how did he know that every tongue, tribe, and nation were present? What did he see to know the distinction? Well scripture doesn’t tell us that, but when I close my eyes and imagine that moment, I see all the colors and I can hardly wait!

    • He was also on meth and fentanyl. No, he never should have died that way and the two senior officers should be held accountable but what about the rookies on the job 4 days? It is said they asked their training officers to turn him over. Are you praying for them too? Their lives and futures are over as they planned it and dreamed it all because of one stupid person’s actions. I see some have jumpEd on the bandwagon to protest against ALL law enforcement. If you don’t think that’s what you’re doing, look again!! The new laws being written will reverberate for generations to come, possibly like roe, hopefully not that deeply.

  4. Dorina,

    This country & the world has a long history of hatred. Hitler tried to annihilate the Jews. Countries have had civil unrest over ethnic backgrounds. I firmly believe that God put us here on this Earth for such a time as this. We need to stand up for racial equality. God doesn’t see color, or race. He sees His beautiful creation. It can start small & simple by talking with our young children. Teach them that ALL men & women are created equal. No race, color, creed is any better in God’s eyes than the other. Praying for all in this crisis time.

    Blessins 🙂

      • Beth and Krissy,
        As a white woman, trying earnestly to unlearn systems that have benefitted me and not others based on the color of our skin, one thing I’ve learned is that race and color are indeed seen. And created. And loved by the Creator. God does see His beautiful creation in the fullness of how He made it, which includes color. To be colorblind is to be dismissive of that, which may not the heart behind these comments. But as it was pointed out to me a few years ago, I’m committed to sharing with others.

        One place that has taught me much are the Brownicity courses, led by (in)courage writer Dr. Lucretia Berry and her esteemed colleagues. Their tagline is “Many Hues, One Humanity”, which I love! It’s a wonderfully generous and wise community, and they’re starting another session this coming week. All the information is at brownicity.com.

        • sadly race is not always seen and cared about. I believe each culture is beautiful in its diversity.. we all have customs and foods etc. I never argue over race because I have 35 cultures in my family ! how could anyone with that many cultures speak out ever against another ? half the year in winter I’m white and in the summer I’m the darkest brown within 2 days exposed to the sun.. so I live both.

          • Krissy, I come from a multiracial heritage as well. I love the uniqueness and diversity God created. I believe He did this on purpose, and we are not meant to be colorblind and look past it. We each carry different nuances of His glory and creative expression. Thank you for resonating this in your comment.

  5. Are we absolutely sure George Floyd was murdered because of his skin color? It is my understanding that he and the officer had a past and did not like each other. No one can read minds or what the officer was thinking as he held Floyd down. And it’s sickening the others watching did nothing! Did anyone record the officer saying racist comments as he was holding him down? I’m just curious. Perhaps the officer was just an angry, mean bully of a man. Or maybe he was a racist. He had quite a few complaints against him and should have been suspended long before this happened. However, to use George Floyd as a martyr like he was a saint is wrong. Life isn’t fair to any of us and that includes ALL races. I will continue to say it’s not a skin issue. It’s a SIN issue but all these protests and riots and anger are NOT helping anyone. Please stop it. It’s only causing more problems and MORE racism in this country.

    • Amen Amen sister. Totally agree ..THANKYOU for being brave to state my questions and heart thoughts also.

    • Cindy, you hit the nail on the head with your comments! In reality, it is a sin issue, however there are those in our country who continually use the “race card” to gain political advantage. This has gone on for years. It is true we don’t know at this point know whether the Floyd incident was actually race related, because Floyd and the rogue cop had a history together. Instead of jumping on it as being a racist issue, we need to wait to learn more when it gets to trial, but certain politicians couldn’t wait to cry racism and use it to stir up trouble as we have seen many times in the past. As you also mentioned, even believers are divided on the issue. The progressive agenda is to divide and conquer. Satan himself is a divider, not a unifier and we are desperately needing unity in this country. We need more than ever before to pray for our country.

      • Karen, I heartily agree we need to pray for our country. I also believe that—as Dorina wisely pointed out—God sometimes works through people for the change that’s needed. Her entire post was about how God worked through Esther to expose an evil, racially motivated plot—and how we can look to Esther’s example for how to move forward today: through prayer, community, courage, and strategic wisdom.

        In this family of (in)courage, we strive to be a place that build others up. Sometimes, this calls for the willingness to listen to other people’s viewpoint without defensiveness. After all, whether I agree with someone else or not, my own perspective is not the beginning and end of the matter.

        I would hope, too, that we would learn to view racism as a human issue, not a political one. After years of conversations with people of color, I’m learning that doing my best to understand their perspective—rather than simply u-turning back to my own preconceived notions—is key to moving toward unity and not contributing to the divide.

        Prayer changing hearts—yes and amen! But I’m continually realizing that one of those hearts that needs changing doesn’t belong to an “other” but is my own.

    • Again- my Information and thoughts are your thoughts Cindy. We need to speak the truth and resist bowing to the narrative or we will be enslaved to it.

    • As Dorina originally stated, “Floyd’s death has quickly become a symbol in our country of police brutality and racial injustice.” In this post, he was not portrayed as a saint, but his wrongful murder seems to have served as the final straw for many who have experienced, lived, breathed, and been crushed by deep-rooted, systemic racism.

      Contrary to what these comments would indicate, this post on (in)courage, written by one of the wisest, most counseled, researched, Scripture-based and prayer-driven women I know, did not delve into the parceled up pieces that make up such a complex sin as racism. Instead it called us to prayer and fasting. To wisely using our voices to help others flourish. Dorina specifically says, “Esther’s story reminds us we must start with prayer before we move to response.” Have we truly done so? May we follow the steps laid out here and in Scripture, rather than being quick to speculate, assign judgement, and to do so both harshly.

      • Anna, so well stated! I value Dorina’s words as well, and trust her heart and guidance in this.
        I’ll say more in a later comment about what I appreciated most from the article as I scroll down though the posts. Many of which are very troubling to me. So thanks again for your comment.

  6. my thoughts are this : racism is real but also against most cultures…all lives matter. most cultures have experienced some form of racism in history whether white or black or any other culture..
    the Jews have for thousands of years experienced hate and been slaughtered and forced out of their homes and cities.
    just when one ruler is done trying to take the culture out another rises up many years later.
    instead of being proud to be sons and daughters of the line of Abraham and the 12 tribes of Isreal many Jews hide who they are.
    my children have experienced racism and hatred towards them in public schools earlier in life after a teacher asked everyone their cultures. seemingly no other culture was hated but celebrated.
    the other kids spewed hateful words at them without even fully understanding why. I found it ironic that christian children hated Jewish kids but honored Jesus ( yeshua ), who was a middle eastern Jew???!!!
    our society must start with not seeing cultures as bad. each culture is a thing a beauty and made by God.

    • my thoughts are this : racism is real but also against most cultures…all lives matter. most cultures have experienced some form of racism in history whether white or black or any other culture..
      the Jews have for thousands of years experienced hate and been slaughtered and forced out of their homes and cities.
      just when one ruler is done trying to take the culture out another rises up many years later.
      instead of being proud to be sons and daughters of the line of Abraham and the 12 tribes of Isreal many Jews hide who they are.
      my children have experienced racism and hatred towards them in public schools earlier in life after a teacher asked everyone their cultures. seemingly no other culture was hated but celebrated.
      the other kids spewed hateful words at them without even fully understanding why. I found it ironic that christian children hated Jewish kids but honored Jesus ( yeshua ), who was a middle eastern Jew???!!!
      our society must start with not seeing cultures as bad. each culture is a thing a beauty and made by God.

      a friend once told me that most love a white Jesus ; not the middle eastern Jewish Jesus.. so yes the church must start teaching love for all cultures !!

    • Krissy, thanks for being here and sharing your thoughts. I’m sorry you and your children have experienced prejudice because of your Jewish heritage. That hurts my heart for you. Discrimination of any kind does not reflect or honor the heart of God.

      Over the last several years as I’ve been learning more about the history and current reality of racism in America and what it means to lament with my sisters and brothers of color — which is really to be heartbroken over what breaks God’s heart — one thing that has come to my attention is the pain it causes to say “all lives matter” in response to discussions on racism. Of course all lives matter! Each and every life is precious to God, and they should be to each of us. But when one person or group of people is being treated as if their lives are not as valuable as others, then our focus should first be on making it known that they in fact DO matter! Then we need to work to change beliefs and systems so that the value of all persons is truly reflected. I share this as someone who used to say (or at least think) “but all life matters!” Now that I understand the harm of that response, I’m trying to do better. Change begins within. Lord, help us! May it begin with me.

      • I see your point. I think black lives matter forsure and we must speak up in a time where people perhaps are not being treated well. I’m concerned deeply tho that with the ongoing never ending racism against other cultures they are being shoved to the side too. people of many cultures are being disrespected daily and so in my ” all lives matter” that’s what I meant.

        • to be clear I don’t live in the USA.. in my country we do try to live as all lives matter. our Asians neighbors matter..our best friends of Spanish culture matter and our Jewish friends matter. each of these identify with their cultures deeply and show it. we don’t down grade them or treat them less.. we do honor all lives matter here in my country.

          • Krissy, I appreciate you sharing from your experience. I’m so sorry for what your children had to go through. I was bullied as a child because of the color of my skin and have also endured racist comments at various times. It’s been a life-long journey, but I believe God called me to be a bridge-builder and to teach from His Word. I also am grateful people like you are willing to share your stories so we all can see racism is a real thing. Praying with you.

  7. I am white skin color. I was in Hospital a few years for women operation because of heavy
    very heavy bleeding. To stop seizures I was having that the bleeding was causing. God spoke to me it doesn’t bother me what skin color anyone is. One day after my operation. One of Doctors who came in to see me has brown skin not dark dark brown. She was so kind to me. I felt through the Holy Spirit God saying Dawn. You know people in Hospital don’t care what religion or skin color the Doctor is as long as they make them well. That is so true. Why is when they are in public they throw remarks to people who have different colors or come from different countries now live where they live. They even torment them some of them in their own homes. By doing things too them. Yet they are glad of them that are Doctors in the that say that Doctor got brown or black skin. Doctors to look after them to make them well. They should see beyond the skin color. Like they do when in Hospital. Look at that person heart like God does. Man looks everything else. God sees what they do. Easter was beautiful. Man look at beauty. We if God people need to look beyond that. Do what God would what us to do. My time in Hospital spoke to me. Even though I was never like that. I loved all people no matter what skin color they are no matter what religion they are. But it made me pray for them like Jesus would see them so differently. Like the kids song I learnt at Sunday School. Jesus love all the Children of the World Red and Yellow Black and White. We are Jesus Children. We are to do the same as that song. Love everyone. Love today reading XXX

  8. Dorina, I so appreciate your words here. They encourage, they challenge, they teach, and they point to Scripture. “In the quiet and in community, Esther cultivated courage and confidence for what was ahead.” Yes! Quiet and community.

    A week or two ago, Jo Saxton posted a video on Instagram and spent a few minutes talking about Esther. She mentioned several of the same things you have written here, and I love that the Spirit is reminding me of it again today. Until Jo’s video, I hadn’t quite seen Esther in that light. We — I — can so easily miss our own (my own) blindness. Unlike the blind man in Mark 10, if Jesus asked what we want, we wouldn’t have the wisdom to say “I want to see.” Blind to our own blindness. I have so very much to learn, but I am listening. Not to argue, not to insert my own opinion and overtake the narrative, not to “yeah but…”… first, simply, listening. And as I do, I am learning so very much.

    We don’t know what we don’t know, but once we do… we’re responsible for that. Thank you for doing exactly what you wrote at the end: bringing light. (And with Truth and grace!)

    • Thank you, Kaitlyn! I’m grateful for the ways you are leaning in to pray, learn, and speak truth as well. I need to find that video Jo Saxton did. I haven’t heard it yet. Of course, it’s no accident that God would put this on many people’s hearts to resonate. I just started reading Kathy Khang’s book, Raise Your Voice, and she also talks about what we can learn from Esther. As Ann Voskamp says, let’s be the Esther Generation!

  9. Dorina dear, this post is 5 star, and I’m grateful for the way it lights the way between God’s heart and our own. You show me how to continue looking toward my own blind spots as I listen. Also, you graciously remind me that the Holy Spirit speaks to us individually…because how he encourages one of us to move forward may not be the way he encourages another. Thank you for making room for us all to learn and grow–it’s no small thing, and you’re no small gift to God’s kingdom. Love you so.

  10. Thank you, Dorina, for being brave enough to listen to God’s leading and to live like Esther. I’m praying for each of us, including those leaving comments I do not agree with, nor condone. May we each do what Esther modeled in regards to … “being an ordinary woman whom God used in an extraordinary way because of her willingness to obey His leading. She was an ambassador for justice for the vulnerable.” May we each think less of ourselves and focus on how we can love each other more.

  11. This was soooo needed. I feel that so many of us simply “react” in a situation like this, and don’t stop to take the time to pray and wait for Gods wisdom.
    This was an amazing reminder that we need to be coming together in prayer.
    And you utilized one of my favorite books of The Bible to do it.

    • Renae, I am with you! So well said. Dorina’s post and your comment make me wonder what the world would look like if every sister in Christ, daughter of God spent as much time on her knees in prayer as she does speaking, questioning, speculating, or blaming. Let it begin with me!

  12. Thanks so much for sharing your heart. My heart breaks too. God bless you, my friend.

  13. Dorina,

    My heart has been so heavy during this time. There’s so much to process, so many different voices, opinions, stories, resources, and agendas to listen to and synthesize. I think we all can agree that the problems before us are big and complex. It can honestly feel overwhelming to know how to respond, what to believe, what to do next. I feel this tension and confusion in my own heart and I can hear it in many of the comments left here today.

    But what I LOVE that you have done through your thoughtful and beautifully written post is point us back to the truth, hope, and clarity of Scripture!

    I imagine Esther felt totally overwhelmed by the division and racism and political agendas in her world too. What would have happened if she leaned on her own feelings or perspective or the advice of others? Surely the outcome of her story would have been very different. But Esther prayed, along with the five steps you’ve gleaned from God’s Word. What grace that we don’t have to figure it all out on our own or debate with others. God is with us! His Word is alive and active! As He guided Esther right where she was, so God will be faithful to guide each of us — for such a time as this.

    I am with you, sister friend. Starting on my knees. Grateful for your voice and the (in)courage community.

    May we continue to share our stories vulnerably and point one another to the hope of Christ.

    With you.

    • mordecai was her influence to advance to the king and take a stand. she ( hadassah) did have influence from her uncle .

      • Yes, she did have an older cousin who she called uncle mentoring her from afar. That’s another way God helped her!

  14. As someone who God is now asking to take the work He has done with me in private to speak publicly against injustice, specifically in the area of racism, I appreciate this new way of looking at Esther’s story. She sought the heart of God and found that she couldn’t keep silent. That is exactly how I feel!

    As people of God, we are all called to be ambassadors for justice. Thank you for the reminder, Dorina!

    • Thank you, friend. I’m inspired by the ways you are speaking up after first spending that time in prayer and hearing from God. Linking arms with you on this justice journey. May we be like Esther!

  15. It’s late in the day, and I’m just reading Dorina’s compelling essay — and the feedback and comments. It’s heartbreaking to see some women so undone by the current outcry against racism. Instead, how can we talk better about race matters?

    Indeed, how can we hear people whose views are different? To quiet our urge to attack, deny and defend — and just listen. We might take a cue from our Jesus. Love your neighbor as yourself. Indeed, without blame. Without maligning. Without misrepresenting God. Without judging others. Without quantifying the worth of a life. Without arguing. Without spiritualizing murder. Without saying George Floyd was “bad” — or, don’t give money to Black Lives Matter, or XX percent of black homes are fatherless, or most police officers are good, and on and on, actually says this: I’m not listening. I only hear my point of view. My heart and ears are closed.

    As we struggle through this time as a nation, I pray we’ll turn our weary hearts to the One who can lead us through our wilderness. In the meantime, I’ll offer a simple plea. Try first to love. May God help us all to obey. Sent with His love, Patricia

    • Patricia, you continue to shepherd with your wisdom and example on these matters. Thank you for turning us back to the greatest commandment – love. Indeed, let’s turn our hearts to El Roi, who sees us and leads us through the wilderness!

    • This is so, so good Patricia. As a white person, it’s easier to deflect by bringing up other issues rather than lean in to ask questions and learn about the reality of racism in our country. It is uncomfortable to admit something is very wrong and that we, as image bearers of our Creator, need to humble ourselves and ask God for His perspective. His Word is clear that He wants us to learn, seek, and defend ( “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.” Isaiah 1:17)

      Thank you for sharing honestly and boldly. It is for such a time as this, that your voice, and many other Godly black women and mens voices, need to be heard.

      • You move mountains everyday with your beautiful family, Renee. Thank you for walking the talk — and for leaning into these conversations. As Esther would say, “For such a time as this!”

  16. Dear Dorina,
    Thank you for such a beautiful, loving post. It doesn’t matter that George Floyd was not a model citizen. How many biblical “heroes” had faults? The point is, as Christians, and just human beings, we are called to love one another and treat each other with respect. As a white, middle-aged Canadian, I cannot even begin to understand what some cultures have endured as racism for decades or even centuries, and still experience today. But as many of the comments have reiterated, prayer is powerful, and can help us work together for change. Along with respect for all cultures, we need to recognize that ageism is quite prevalent in our youth oriented culture in North America.
    As well, those who are wearing a uniform, especially to represent the law, need better training to deal with mental health issues, their own anger, and, realizing that the uniform does give them indiscriminate power over others.
    I am thankful for the comments from Mary Carver, Anna Rendell, Kristen Strong, Tasha and all the other (in)courage writers for their insights.
    Dorina, your thoughtful words, coming from His Word, are some of the best I’ve read and heard. May we all from across the globe, dwell on them and pray for peace as we move forward to start to rectify this situation.

    Blessings and love, Sandy

    • Sandy,
      Thank you for taking time to read thoughtfully and engage courageously here. So many Biblical heroes had faults and God used them mightily. Even Esther was not perfect! And I know I am certainly not either. Nor am I called to be the judge. Joining you in prayer and the call to love mercy and act justly.
      For such a time as this!

  17. Dorina, thank you so very much! Oh, how I love biblically sound and spiritually relevant teaching! Yes, a million times, yes!!! Esther risked everything to speak the truth. She could have lost her life by approaching the King. She was brave, wise, peaceful, and all prayed up! And she saved her people!

    Thanking you for telling this story so beautifully and leaving us with a strong call to action…PRAY.
    Praying is powerful and must come before, during, and after action! Let’s never say; I guess I’ll just pray! Just is an apologetic word. When we pray, we are not just praying; we are doing the greater work. Ladies, let’s get on our knees and our faces and pray for our country.

    Let’s encourage one another as Dorina has encouraged us today!

    • Kim, thank you for your encouragement! I have to catch myself when I’m tempted to say I’ll “just pray.” It’s actually an action step in itself. I’m so inspired by Esther’s choice to pray and then respond where God led her!

  18. I suppose it’s hard for me to get racism. I live in a college town with students from all over the world. In two decades of living here I have yet to encounter any racism.
    My husband is very well known around here as well.
    All of my close friends are of a different skin color than mine. Only one of my children has a friend that is the same skin tone.
    I totally agree with the ALL lives matter “motto”. I pray for the racism going on around the world.

    • I’m so glad you found this blog! I love when I’m studying something and God resonates the message in many places!

  19. Thank you for this inspiring and uplifting message. I’ve been struggling with knowing just how to make a difference in my circles. I’m doing my part by helping the poor and vulnerable in my community through United Way and Family Support Services. There are so many in need.

    But I have felt deep despair lately, within my own family and for my friends and colleagues. And I’m not always sure how to respond.

    I appreciate your message of hope and helping us figure out what to do next. We can make a difference, and it starts with conversations with our children and parents and friends. I needed to be reminded that I do matter, and that my words have power. I loved the reminder to stop and pray. I’m not great at fasting, but I imagine that fasting is also fasting from too much media. Taking time to thoughtfully respond to the pain of those suffering is crucial.

    Thank you to (in)courage for creating a safe place to be honest with God and one another. I have personally never prayed or walked with Jesus as much as I am now. I am in constant prayer. And I’ve had my share of hard times.

    Let’s band together as sisters and brothers on behalf of all those that don’t have a voice. May we work towards a brighter future for our children and our children’s children.

    Thank you Dorina, and thank you (in)courage.

    • Caron, I appreciate your vulnerable sharing about your feelings and experiences in this challenging time. I love that God used this post to encourage and fortify you. I love that you are walking closer with Him during this season. May He reveal your next steps!

    • Caron, we are so glad you are here, walking with us all seeking to get closer and closer to Jesus. And thank you for sharing your heart so tenderly and honestly. I too have felt overwhelmed and deeply saddened by the oppression and racism against our black brothers and sisters, and others of color. I love what you are doing to serve those in need. I’m praying each day asking God to show me what He wants me to do that day, to learn, listen, seek justice, and love mercy on behalf of those who are hurting in all of this, those whose voices haven’t been listened to and whose hearts stories need to be heard and valued as much as anyone else’s.

  20. What a great insight that the story of Esther deals with racism. Of course it’s so clear now; how could I not have noticed it before?! That seems to be a recurring theme for me in these weeks as I listen and learn of the experiences of sisters and brothers of color.
    With the deaths of Ahmaud Aubrey and George Floyd, I was convicted that it was way past time to move beyond awareness that something is very very wrong. And not just that there is sin and brokenness in the world, but a specific kind of brokenness in our country. But what to say, what to do, where to begin? I have stumbled forward – but thinking on what you shared (so well!) Dorina – I can see I probably had things in backward order. So often I want to start with the action. I want to feel like I’m making a difference, when really by starting there, it’s just reacting.
    What stood out to me most was the call to begin with prayer, and fasting – seeking God’s perspective on the matter. And how each step really builds on the previous one. Like Community.
    (BTW, love the community happening here! I’ve learned even through these comments the reminder that fasting can often include social media and I need to apply that again! And how we can seek out God both in the quiet and in community. So good.)
    With so much yet to process and engage with in the area of social justice, I’m grateful to have Esther’s example as a guide, for it seems to me that with each new challenge or opportunity or trigger these are wisdom-filled steps to follow.
    Thank you Dorina, ever the sherpa-guide pointing the way.

    • Shelly, I appreciate your willingness to share some of your process too. Depending on how we are wired and raised, it’s natural to want to move first to action. That’s why I have also been inspired by Esther’s approach, which Jesus models throughout his ministry as well. He was never in a rush or reactionary, but always moving on behalf of the vulnerable. Grateful for you!

  21. I am also amazed that I had never seen this before! We are so familiar with Jews or Samaritans being despised in the Bible, yet rarely connect the dots to racism today. Thank you, Dorina, for this call to prayer, fasting, community, Spirit-led strategy, speaking truth, and using the unique position we each have for others. I am also impressed by how Esther demonstrated self-control and wisdom/discernment! She waited until the right time, and when it was time to speak, she spoke boldly. She also didn’t just hide in her castle and pretend what was happening on the streets outside could be ignored.

    Father God, help us. Give us determination to seek your face, wisdom to listen to you, courage as we do this together as your body, humility as we listen to each other, power to know your love and to love each other, and grace and soft hearts as we make mistakes together but keep walking by faith and not by sight. When one part of the Body hurts, Lord, we all hurt – and racism is hurting so many of our brothers and sisters right now. Guide us through these days, Father. For your glory! Amen.

    • I thought the same thing, Melissa. I love the way Dorina connects the dots, too. And your words about how when one part of the Body hurts, we all hurt–well, that reminder is one I needed today. Thank you, Melissa!

    • Melissa, I’m grateful for your honesty and prayer. I’m linking arms and hearts with you here.

      God, guide us today! We desperately need your healing in our land. Amen.

  22. Collectively, we’ve sung these lyrics:
    Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
    Let me walk upon the waters
    Wherever You would call me
    Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
    And my faith will be made stronger
    In the presence of my Savior

    God has allowed us to come to a place to practice borderless trust, to walk on the waters, to cultivate our faith. We asked to go deep, and now here we are. And I am grateful that God did not bring us here and abandon us. Emmanuel is with us. Hallelujah!

    • Yes and amen. He is here with us. Thank you for this word and reminder. I’m learning to be like Esther. Slow to react but quick to pray, and then willing to step courageously into strategic action. Thank you for the ways you lead on this, friend.

  23. George Floyd, Breanna and many many others their tragic loss of life, their stories has reached the other side of the world. All the way in NZ and Australia too has caused us to not only stand in solidarity protests but to dine a light in the effects of colonialism and systemic racism on our own door step. Relationships between the indigenous members and white members of our own societies. I am a POC but a foot in both camps. Indian and therefore considered other and the white inheritance of my father’s lineage. My parents loved each other and built their lives our family foundation on Christ. I was different due to religion and due to being olive skinned. I BFF e felt racism but not overtly like George Floyd and others. Nothing close.

    As you all know I did a masters in Peace & Conflict to equip me with the skills and understanding to bring peace. I’m taking your advice like Esther and going to God for guidance first. Not to be reactions as this terrible abuse makes me sick. I’m only viewing this through the TV & social media. What must our black brothers and sisters be feeling?

    I pray for your safety and healing. My heart aches for these families and for the hurt of people. I pray for change and long lasting change.

    Thank you for this post. Love Jas Wilson

    • Jas,
      I’m deeply grateful for you comments and global perspective. We grieve, we pray, we ask God to guide us on the path to healing. Linking arms with you. Let’s be like Esther!

  24. Dorina, thank you for the gift of your beautiful words, your Godly perspective and the lovingkindness that is woven through each of your words. The other day while I was working in my garden I spent some time talking to God, and asked Him to remind me of someone in the Bible who took a risk and stood up for people who were being oppressed. Esther immediately came to mind (and I was kind of surprised bc it’s the first time Id ever thought of her as it relates to what is happening in our country.) I started thinking through the steps Esther took as I weeded my garden. And then today I read your post, and God used it to encourage me to follow her example. I just wanted you to know the Holy Spirit is absolutely leading you and I’m so grateful for the way you created a guide for us to follow through Esther’s story.

    The message God gave you to share is what we all need. Truth, grace and practical steps that lead us first to Him and then out into the world to love on and listen to our black brothers and sisters who are hurting and deserve to be heard. Thank you for the time and prayer you put into this post that I know God had you write for such a time as this. ~love you! Renee

    • THANK YOU, RENEE! I love how God revealed some of the same things to you as you were gardening and then affirmed it through this post. I appreciate your encouragement, and even more that we get to link arms on this journey!