It came as an unannounced and unexpected blessing in Marion — in the sanctuary of Siloam Baptist Church to be exact — the day after the deadly protest rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Aug. 12.
“No living man, woman or child has ever seen the incarnate Christ; we don’t know what He looks like,” John Nicholson, pastor of the predominantly white Siloam Baptist, posted on his blog thyrodandstaff.wordpress.com on Aug. 13.
“However, I know for a fact, on this Lord’s day at Siloam Baptist Church in Marion, Alabama, He looked like a black woman and a young black girl handing out roses.”
That morning Nicholson began the service with a call to unity and addressed the “unsettling and heartbreaking events which unfolded … over the weekend.”
“Even as I began to speak of the inherent evil which presents itself in every form of racism, quoting 1 John 4:19–21 … the back door slowly opened, revealing a young African-American girl and an African-American woman carrying a large, white plastic bag filled with something red.”
The bag was filled with roses and “these two beautiful saints began handing each person in our sanctuary a gorgeous rose,” Nicholson said. “I continued to speak while they completed their joyful task and as they finished I invited those gathered to stand and greet one another, acknowledging the presence of Christ among us.”
Siloam associate pastor Josh Watford said neither the visit by the guests handing out roses nor the timing of their entrance was planned.
“These ladies came as part of St. James Baptist (also in Marion),” he said. “They went to many other churches to show their love and promote unity. No one knew they were coming beforehand and John didn’t know they would be there during his call for unity and reconciliation.”
Nicholson added that the power of the moment was intensified for him when he discovered the women had not yet heard of the events in Charlottesville. They were merely impressed to do this act on that particular Sunday. (TAB)
1 John 4:19–21
“We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar, for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”