Faith in Action: Sybrina Fulton (Christian Stories, Part 4)

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

(Romans 12:12 NIV)

7004889551_1150949478_bTracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, Parents of Trayvon Martin, at a NYC Rally.


As Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, came to fully, albeit reluctantly at first, accept the ‘mission’ that the Lord had given her, she came to fully embody the Scripture that led this post.

I first learned of Fulton’s faith while at a Baptist church revival in NC near Greensboro.  A minister at the revival stated that he knew (and had communicated) with Fulton’s Pastor in Florida.  The Missionary Baptist Pastor assured him that she was ‘a woman of great faith’.   In the months that followed, I read and heard many things about the mother of the young black teenager.   Fulton clearly sees her loss as both a Tragedy and Mission.  Any Why Me thoughts were replaced by a Why Not Me mindset.  That’s faith!

  • I envision God saying to the grieving mother:

This Mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be a Voice for all who’ve  loss their children in mass shootings.   And be an Advocate, so fewer senseless losses occur in the future.

What to those of low (or no) faith would be a Mission Impossible, she has -to this day- earnestly embraced.   God doesn’t always call the qualified, but he qualifies those He calls.  Trayvon Martin’s mother is surely faith in action.   Pastor Arthur Jackson III, Fulton’s pastor at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Miami Gardens FL, counseled Trayvon Martin’s parents – Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton.  The teen’s funeral was held at the Miami Gardens’ church.  Many religious leaders followed the case of the slain black teenager.

Fulton’s Pastor, Arthur Jackson III, stated:

  • “The Fulton-Martin family are people of faith and they’re very encouraged.   They have faith in God and they have faith in the justice system.   Of course they know its going to be difficult.”
  • “Sybrina’s an incredibly strong person,” he said, “and my counsel to her has been to tap into the strength. … She is no longer asking herself ‘why me.’   She understands that God has allowed her to be a voice for other mothers whose children have been met with the same fate.   We’re just asking her to keep with that same belief.”  (1)

At a gathering of supporters, in the weeks leading up to the trial, Trayvon’s mother stated:

“You don’t understand how this will help us to go on.   You don’t realize that your being here has blessed us so,” [She] told those gathered at the prayer service.   “I stand here as a mother.    My heart is hurting, but I know that …  God will work this out.   I know that Trayvon is looking down on us and he’s smiling.” (1)

Sybrina Fulton, in an Open Letter to the Parents of Michael Brown, published in Time magazine on August 18, 2014, stated:

Facts, myths, and flat out lies are already out there in Michael’s case.    Theories, regardless of how ridiculous, are being pondered by the pundits.    My advice is to surround yourselves with proven and trusted support.   Through it all, I never let go of my faith, my family, or my friends.    Long after the overwhelming media attention is gone, you will need those three entities to find your ‘new normal.’    Honor your son and his life, not the circumstances of his alleged transgressions. (2) [Emphasis added]


While clearly afflicted, she remains in prayer and hopeful.   Sybrina Fulton is surely faith in action!

Greg Silverthorne, 66 Assurance Way

(to be continued – final Faith in Action post/Summary of all 4 parts)


Footnotes:

1 – Joy-Ann Reid, “For Trayvon Martin’s parents, faith in God, and in the justice system” (6/7/13, thegrio.com)

2 – Open Letter to parents of Michael Brown, published in TIME Magazine (8/18/14). Source, post on thewire.com  (Link)

Photo credit: David Shankbone/flickr (CC)


 

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