Tuesday, April 18, 2006


today laura and i decided to run from third and upper to castlewood drive. i wanted to show her two houses that are for sale. neither of which are actually that cute. on our way back home we took a way that i've never been. we passed the new projects. they look nice on the outside. whether or not they're built well i don't know. we turned right after the projects and passed an extremely thin african-american woman with no front teeth and a couple of band-aids on her forehead. she was faced in the opposite direction being jovial with someone. then we passed her. two sweaty white girls. her smile immediatly turned to a frown. she said something to effect of us being two stringy-haired white girls that needed to get out of her dark-colored neighborhood. that's all i can remember. we were not welcomed by her. she was so angry sounding. she must have been hurt by someone. she scared me with her hateful words.

i came home wondering if black and white people can really be friends. can we live side-by-side? even though i'm from the south, i remember my mother taking us over to visit her black friend at her home in selma, alabama. in a predominantly black neighborhood. my brother and i enjoyed seeing her. she made us our favorite meal. chicken and dumplings. i haven't had any better. we felt safe even though we were out of our "comfort zone".

i'm also reminded of the one man who challenged my grandfather spiritually more than anyone. he was a black man. my pawpaw cherished that friendship. they loved each other and they loved God so very much.

i need forgiveness for doubting that friendships can go beyond race. i'm going to choose to forgive the angry words of that woman to laura and me. we are all hurt and need love.


Maria Kenney said...

Jodi -- what an amazing post. I think the questions you ask are so important, and so hard to face honestly. I also think that the two of you, just being there, must make a difference somehow. Keep running, for all these good reasons!!!

geoff said...

thanks for posting this jodester. sherry reminds me often that one of the most important things we can do as jesus followers is to absorb difficult things like this. the image is a transformer or lightening rod...and the critical thing is we don't 'return malice for malice'. many of us intentionally put oursleves in places and situations where moments like these are likely in the hope our presence is grace-full and peace-full. easier said than done. thanks for the encouragement.