Dear Ms. Cooper-Jones,
It’s been a little more than a week now that I learned of the tragic shooting death of your son, Ahmaud Arbery.
I sat in stunned silence attempting to grasp what the newscasters were saying as I watched the accompanying video.
Nothing about the confrontation made sense to me, even following updated news reports showing someone who looked like Ahmaud exploring a house in the area under construction.
I’ve continued to read news updates, trying to understand what could be missing from the story.
Surely it’s not possible
Surely it’s not possible for a person to be so angry, fearful and downright mean to see another human jogging in the neighborhood and decide to grab a gun, jump in a truck to hunt down the jogger and then confront him — two armed men against one unarmed man — with no official authority nor proven reasoning, just a hunch.
How can that be? And to have the audacity to then claim self-defense?
What would any of us do if attacked in a manner like that? We would all fight back.
And then to learn you’ve been dealing with this since Feb. 23, that no initial arrests were made and that it took more than two months before serious action was taken — and reportedly only after the video of the shooting was released to news media on May 5.
Drawn to you
Watching your interviews with various media outlets drew me to you. The depth of your grief alongside the calmness of your spirit speaks volumes.
I can’t begin to imagine what these past two and a half months have been like for you, nor can I truly ever understand the pain for the African-American community as a whole, but I do want you to know I join the hundreds of thousands, and possibly more like millions, of Christians who care and are grieving with you.
Please know there are people among all races and ethnic groups who denounce what took place and are lifting you and your family up in prayer.
You have been on my mind each day since I saw your face and learned your name.
I’ve prayed for comfort and a peace that can only come from our Lord Jesus Christ.
As a Christian who also is a white American, I am horrified by what happened to Ahmaud and the countless others who have been persecuted, abused and/or killed merely because someone’s heart was filled with hate toward a person’s particular skin tone, ethnicity or faith.
The Bible clearly states in Gen. 1:26–27 and Gen. 9:6 that mankind was created in the image of God — all mankind.
And the Scripture is abundantly clear in how we should live and treat each other, think Golden Rule (Matt. 7:12) and greatest commandment (Matt. 22:36–40).
Jesus is the answer
My heart aches for you, Ms. Cooper-Jones, and I commit to continue praying for you.
I also will work to change the hearts of those blinded by hatred — first, by diligently and consistently examining and cleansing my own heart so I am fully submissive to the Lord and the work He wants to do.
From there, I will work to encourage fellow believers to do the same, so we all are focused on Him, striving to seek His face and growing more like Him every day.
The more we look like Jesus, the more natural it becomes to serve others before ourselves. And a bright light dispels the darkness — as well as the evil that lurks along with it.
Your sister in Christ,
Jennifer Davis Rash
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” —Romans 12:18