as I sit and stare at the face of a sweet child with leukemia on the back of a magazine in support of cancer research, I am compelled to love this child, and kiss his magazine glossed face. I silently say a little prayer for him, not knowing where he is in life at the moment – but sending good to him and his family. In the background, the noise from the TV catches my attention. I hear words of riot, and black vs. white, police, and a myriad of opinions. And the color of this child’s skin suddenly comes to life; although, it’s a black and white photograph – was this on purpose, I wonder? I realize that when we are in a moment of compassion and love, we see with clear eyes. We see things as they should be. This sweet child is not black or white. he has cancer. he is a child. he needs love, prayers, compassion and support.
As I reflect on how we got here, I am deeply saddened by our American history. how could such an abomination as slavery occur and be accepted? How could human beings stand to treat each other with such hatred? When I was a child, I remember when I first learned about slavery. I simply didn’t understand it. how could such terrible things exist? why would they exist? It was just incomprehensible to me at that age. but as much as I am saddened, I am also proud. We have overcome. the true nature of our character is how we respond when things are wrong. It is much easier to stay the same than to make a change.
And when I reflect on our history, I realize, I am not the bad nor the good. I am not the owner nor the slave. I am only me, reflecting on a past that I cannot change. Paying for a history that I did not create. the fact that my genetic makeup presents as white, sometimes lends itself to assumptions & prejudices that I must be a certain way. But first, get to know me, I ask. I am human, I do and will make mistakes, but please do not assume my overlooking, grumpiness, non-attentiveness, or whatever is a sign that I must be racist. That is an insult to my character and upsets me deeply.
I had an amazing childhood. My father was in the military. I moved around and had an array of friends – all from different walks of life. Some were African American, Caucasian, some were Hispanic, German, Asian, some Middle Eastern. But all of them were none of these things, to me… they were simply my friends. and I loved them, and they me. and that was that.
This world is filled with the beauty of the different. from the high top mountains to the rolling plains. The light of the sun to the romance of the moonlight. the warmth of the sand to the cool of the waves. a rainbow without the yellow red and orange – is not a rainbow at all. These things are beautiful, because they are together. One brings out the beauty and goodness in the other and vice versa.
I know that evil exists. I am not naive. It is on my TV at the moment, as a reminder. I’m turning it off. It knocks on our doors in the night, trying to get in. But I know that evil will not cease by more evil. nor will wrong turn to righteous with more wrong.
so now to my point… If you could have any superpower, what would it be? The psyche question we all have been asked – in hopes for a better understanding of how we think. I always hated this question… because most superpowers are kind of lame. sorry superman, spiderman, and the likes. no I don’t wish to fly – I really don’t like heights. And although the idea of knowing what you think sounds great, I have enough issues with knowing all of my own thoughts. X-ray vision – there is plenty I do not wish to see.
The superpower that I wish for… is the power to help people feel another’s life experiences – to walk in their shoes, so to speak. Because with that will come understanding – and understanding at the deepest level is love. Didn’t the beetles say… love is all you need.
1Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. but the greatest of these is love.”
Sully, thank you for touching my heart.