Maybe it’s partly my imagination. Maybe I’m hyperaware and just noticing something that was already there, but it’s there regardless.
The lady in the grocery store strikes up a conversation with me about pomegranates. She looks me in the eye longer than I expect. She smiles warmly and lets her black hand linger on my arm.
An African-American co-worker seems more interested lately; maybe because I am too: “How are things going? You doing okay?”
Our tall, muscular, black mailman pulls out his earbud and pauses his hustle to offer a warm greeting. He has a beautiful smile I never noticed before. But then again, he’s never seen my teeth either.
All this while there’s a war simmering in my city. Fear and panic are rising from the pressure cooker; stirring up unhealed wounds and opening eyes. I’m seeing more than ever; mostly noticing that there are more of my people than I thought.
People who are well-aware of the brokenness, but have more questions than answers.
People who are afraid of what angry and hurting folks might do; regardless of their color.
People who want to represent their God and their race well; repenting of their apathy.
People who are worried about each other. People who want to love better.
People like the lady in the produce section, my co-worker, our mailman…
They say in times of crisis and chaos, like-minded people gravitate toward each other. I see it on the news. I’m experiencing it in my daily routine.
Yes, these are my people. I’m noticing them. They are noticing me. We are finding each other; needing each other. We are communicating… mostly non-verbally, but saying more than ever.
I had coffee with a dear friend the other day. She is black. I am white. We are both praying for the same things; both equally afraid in our own city. “Hurting people never respond well, ” we decided.
We are all hurting. Lord, teach us to respond…
That day, I hugged her a little tighter. She noticed.