Today’s Advent card, Day 13, is splattered in the warmth of colors.
Little flowers, leaves, stems all mingled together, all God’s creation.
Last night, Heather convinced me to watch a football awards show. I sort of watched, I guess.
I did get to see Dabo Swinney speak very confidently and with humility. I also got to see him dance surrounded by his players who were laughing at and with him, it was a happy time. A lot of love in that room.
Then, we both were captivated by a young football player who accepted an award he was obviously honored to receive, yet had not an ounce of cockiness in his stance. I don’t think he said it, but, he just had a look of “blessed” as he received his award.
Then the award, I wish I could remember the name for was given to a 28 year old veteran, his story of returning from war to college football and the tormented memories he carried.
A big, handsome man who thought not of himself but, but of the friend in his Echo Company who’d lost the battle of holding fast to hope. He died by suicide, must have been one night this week, joining several others from this company, he said.
The young man, the older man, one white and one black.
Both humbled, both honored, both had persevered.
Both were fighters, had purpose.
Both cried the same eyes pooled with tears.
My daughter and I did too.
When my mama lived she taught us many lessons. I can’t say with confidence that they were taught to her.
What I believe is that she came to these truths because she was a lover of all people.
She told us many, many times. “There are good white people and there are bad white people. There are good black people and there are bad black people and some people are just mean as hell.”
Now, my mama loved the Lord.
She revered God; but, she also spoke truth when it needed to be heard.
She told us again and again…”You know everybody sittin’ in that church pew on Sunday morning ain’t going to heaven, it’s just show.”
She was teaching us to see others for who and where they are.
People trying to figure out which to be.
Teaching us “But, by the grace of God, there go I.”
She taught us how to live in a world with others, loving, her legacy.
This morning, before getting out of bed, God pulled some things together for me. He had me looking back on my week and said,
“Lisa, this is why I placed this person on your path…all these people have purpose. I know you’re gonna need these to get through the ugly situation to come.”
A woman who helped me this week, she lives in our homeless shelter. We talked about her son, 17 years old. She never thought to ask if he could visit. He’s coming to visit Christmas Eve. It started with me asking, “Do you miss your son?”
Or the high school student who shouted “Mrs. Tindal!!!” When she saw me, saying “Let’s do a selfie.”
We did and it was the best shot of the day.
Last night, a friend whose son knows this young lady told me her mama had died of cancer several years back. I had no idea.
I’m so glad we hugged each other.
A friend stopped by to tell me an alarming story of a comment made because of her race. I stood and listened, so hurt for her that I cried.
We held hands and promised to pray for each other.
A big and thoughtless mistake was made on my son’s campus. The media has spread the bad, neglecting to add any good…the possible cause for misinterpretation. I’m glad my son was not a part; but, I’m shaken by the ripple effect.
So, I think again of mama and I think of good and bad.
I think of things only God can do while we, like mama try to be honest, true, kind and obedient catalysts for good, for God.
I think of my daughter’s tears over the young black athlete. Because she, every single day has big hopes for all the little boys she teaches and tells them so by her actions “You can be something really good one day.”
I remember my son as an elementary student, adamantly denying that his friend was black…He’s brown!!!
The 4 year olds in my daughter’s class have new, more accurate names for color too…maybe peach, tan, beige or brown.
Not black or white.
All the pretty colors, truly he taught us to love one another.
Fall on your knees,
Oh hear the angel voices,
Oh night divine, oh night when Christ was born.
Oh night divine, oh night, oh night divine.
Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother,
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord
Christ is the Lord, oh, praise His name forever
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!