Last night, I couldn’t sleep. We don’t have cable and my wireless has basically puttered out. My days are spent in bed or on the couch or at the hospital or doctor’s office or occasionally accompanying Greg to get Evan from school. This means I haven’t kept up on my current events (shame on me) and hadn’t heard about Baltimore in as timely a manner as I usually would have; however, I did find out about the riots just before going to bed. This didn’t bode well.
You see, there’s this burning rage in our country about race relations. We’ve come a long way, but not far enough. And as the wife of a bi-racial man and mother of children who will always have to check the “Black” or “African-American” box when there’s only one choice, I can’t just sit back and ignore what an impact this has on my life. So I snuggled my baby girls and prayed for our country and the families impacted by the events of late.
Then today, Evan asked me to look at a tulip. “Yuck, there’s black inside!” he told me as we looked at it. To a four-year-old, this isn’t about color of skin or anything deeper than the simple fear that one of his beloved yard art flowers might be dirty inside, its yellow color tinged by a dirty blackness.
But to me? To me it’s more. “Yuck, there’s black inside” has been said in ignorant ways to my family, to my parents, to Greg’s parents, about our love and lives. It’s being said about other free citizens of this beautiful country we live in. No, Evan doesn’t get it nor associate that darkness in the tulip as anything more than possible wilting come early, but he sure sparked something inside of me, something brought in words of beauty from my mother-in-law about the tulip. Unity in diversity!
That tulip signifies a whole lot more to me than it just being a tulip. Something beautiful. Something amazing. “How beautiful, there’s black inside!” // “How amazing, that tulip is living and breathing, sharing this free space with me!” // “How awesome, God made that beautiful flower / child!”
So we don’t always have to go so deep…but why not when we can. Why can’t we look at a flower or a person and see beyond the “dirt” inside and see the potential, see the love? Why can’t we see things the way God intended, unity and peace? I’ll be praying again tonight for love and light in Baltimore and for all lives and for my children…that they may see the things our parents taught us as we were raised — to see beyond the dirt and difference. To see that that tulip is just as awesome as all others.