I rarely refer to my college days when I write to you all. I'm not completely sure why, though it's probably because those years were such a time of immaturity and growth, cringe-worthy at many points. This week, though, I can't get those years or the people out of my mind. Especially Faith. She was the first "Black" girl that ever told me to my face what she and her friends really thought about me.
There was work to be done. We were on the same committee and needed to do some brainstorming before our meeting the next day. It was loud. We sat face-to-face, our meals waiting on the table in front of us, as conversations and the clanking of utensils drowned out our voices to passersby. She stared at me, eyes squinted, and struggled to wrap her mind around what I'd just told her.
I was exhausted. The coffee had lost it's kick and I'd just been complaining to her about my alarm going off at 3am. My front desk shift had begun at four and there was no time for a nap between classes. "Is something wrong?" I ask.
She hesitated. "Well, it's just that I thought white girls' parents always paid for college. I didn't realize you had a job."
I studied her face at length, sincerely confused. Her eyes. Mouth. Nothing. Her serious expression gave no indication that she was making a joke about my whining. At that moment, it dawned on me. She was serious. "I have three jobs," I responded, bursting into sleep-deprived giggles. She did too and it started a cascade.
We sat there for hours, asking scary questions and pouring out racial confessions like a shaken soda can that had been bottled up for too many years. Nobody had ever had the courage to say those things to my face before. Nobody had ever taken the initiative to ask her about what her upbringing was really like - a biracial, Christian woman with a brother who thought he might be gay.
City girl. Country girl. Black and white. We had so much in common and of course, there were differences too. But that day, we both wanted understanding more than we'd wanted anything else in a really long time. We wanted acceptance. Love and connection.
Like water in the desert, we were desperate for the assurance that what we'd been taught about one another was dead wrong.
And you know, most of it was.
Please don't believe what you see on the news, dear reader. Take a seat at the table and be open to the conversations that God may bring to it. The moment that we think we know another's story...well, we may not even come close to the truth in our minds.
"Statistics are just human beings with the tears wiped off." Paul Brodeur
In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. Also, since you are Christ’s family, then you are Abraham’s famous “descendant,” heirs according to the covenant promises. Gal. 3:28
Photo Credit: Harry Tang
M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Earns Crossfit participation trophies. Disaster cook. Enthusiastic wife. #Boymom. Clutches her faith, not her pearls.