I began this Tuesday by pressure washing our screened in porch. It is amazing the hidden dirt that high velocity water can reveal. It has been a good spring for pollen…that is if you enjoy pollen! The focused water pressure and the hum of the motor of the machine has a bit of a serene melody…if you do not have to do too much of it. We are enjoying the gift of another day. As I have grown older it has dawned on me that there are no ordinary days. Just being a participant in the game of life is…extraordinary!
As a nation we are struggling with the correct formula of reopening our businesses and childcare facilities and churches. Our flagging restaurant industry and bars are proceeding with innovative ways to keep their staffs and the public that they serve, safe and healthy. The reason that we are struggling so much is because there is no manual on the perfect manner to survive a pandemic. We have no date certain when a vaccine will be created…and we do not know when there will be enough of the vaccine to inoculate all of the human family. There has never been a time that we need each other more than right now!
It has been my habit, for many years, when writing an email to a friend, for me to ask, how is my friend? I enjoy open-ended questions… So many times I have been asked how I am doing…when in reality the inquirer had already decided how I was doing and had developed a plan for me to be better! Have you ever been asked how you were…and then your friend proceeds to speak at some length regarding the vicissitudes of their life…and never mentions anything that you have disclosed to them? Or, when you have lost a loved one and you are standing in the receiving line at the wake, whereupon someone counsels you that your departed family member is in a better place and that you should rejoice that their suffering is now over? Perhaps we find ourselves in a similar circumstance during our 2020 pandemic? Each of us are going through our own sadness and challenge and fear of the unknown future. We seek someone who cares. We hunger for a sounding board…and a centering that only comes through people that love us!
Every African American that has been marginalized and profiled and abused…does not require we white people to explain to them the answer to their profound fear and anguish…their hurt, over generations, and their pain… They need white people to listen…and listen….and listen….and listen… Our black brothers and sisters thirst for white friends who will learn and understand…
The best counselors are the best listeners. If you want to be a friend that is more prized than the precious ‘gold of Ophir,’ that is spoken of in the Bible…listen to what your friend is saying and verbalize your’ heartfelt words with their concerns.