We are better than this

{div class=”WordSection1”}My family moved to Martinsville just a little over three years ago to serve a local congregation. While our church doesn’t always get it right (who does?), we try our best to be a beacon of God’s light, love, and hope in our community — a community that we know to be a place of hospitality, diversity, kindness. So it was especially disappointing to see a recent letter to the editor that seems to show a tiny piece of Martinsville that is anything but. More so it was hatefully directed at a gifted colleague in ministry, fellow neighbor, and newcomer to our community. Rev. Libby Grammer is a welcome gift to our town and to First Baptist Church.

Writer Anne Lamott quotes a priest friend of hers, “You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” The Martinsville I see when I shop in town, walk our dog, eat out with friends is one of recognizing the image of God in each other. Compassion, not disdain. Love, not hatred. I hope the abundant goodness of our community can be better reflected in our local paper. We not only can do better; we are better than this.

Ashley Gill Harrington

Martinsville

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The author is co-pastor of Starling Avenue Baptist Church in Martinsville.