The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


The big story

My Lord ... here is a woman after your own heart

I don't recall her words, but I can't forget what she did. Mary Nell Verrett calmly listened to a sorrowful apology from the father of a man who had dragged her brother, James Byrd Jr., behind a truck until his body disintegrated. It was a racial killing. Three men connected to white supremacists murdered her brother, an African American.

As I watched her on TV, Verrett's eyes moistened as she listened to the grieving father. Then in an almost unthinkable act of grace, she gently accepted his apology, rising far above her pain, transcending the need to blame and the understandable lust for revenge. This man has been wounded too, she said softly.

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February issue


Embracing diversity