Cindy and Jonathan Strawbridge: Changing hearts

When faced with ignorance and racism, Cindy and Jonathan respond with love.

Presented by: Our York Media

Their stories differ on how they first met. But Cindy and Jonathan Strawbridge both remember their first date the same way.

Over Italian food at Vincenzo’s in Red Lion, Jonathan slipped Cindy a note written on a napkin.

Will you be my girlfriend? Circle yes or no.

That was nine years, one marriage, and one eight-month-old baby ago.

Cindy still has the napkin.

They bonded over their strong faith in God and sense of community.

Although they came from different backgrounds — Cindy from a Pentecostal family in Brooklyn and Jonathan a Mennonite from Brogue — their love shone through.

“I think what makes us who we are is that we have learned to embrace each other in our differences,” Cindy says.

You can’t be responsible for people’s ignorance, but you can be responsible for how you respond.

Cindy Strawbridge

Others have had a harder time with that.

Cindy heard the same question a lot when she first married Jonathan — what’s it like being married to a white man?

“What’s it like being married to a human?” she says she’d respond. “Love sees no color.”

Cindy is black, and Jonathan is white. To them, that’s never mattered. Still, they’ve dealt with their fair share of disapproval.

“You can’t be responsible for people’s ignorance,” Cindy says, “but you can be responsible for how you respond.”

Cindy and Jonathan choose to respond with love.

They’ve seen love transform people’s opinions of them. They hope the world will be kinder as their son grows up.

“I don’t want people to look at the color of his skin,” Jonathan says. “I want them to see his heart, to see his character.”

They know they can’t control what others do.

So, they’ll teach their son the right way, how to answer hate with love, and that love knows no color.

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