Friday, June 19, 2015

Racism

This little corner of the blogosphere is a quiet one. The header says "From My Heart To Yours." It's only what I've ever wanted to do here - to share from my heart with honesty and transparency and to encourage others in the process. I've carefully stayed away from controversy and opted out of FB feeds that seem to degenerate into an endless cycle of discordant comments.

But I've listened to the voices that speak the hard truths and those that sound far different from my own. I've wanted to learn and to understand and make wise decisions to move when I know it is time to put action to beliefs. I've prayed to stay grounded in the truth of His word.

My heart aches over the unspeakable horror in Charleston. I want to say something that will add to the discussion, but I find my words so inadequate when great wisdom is required. Instead of trying to write a learned tome on race, I just want to share a story with you. One I've carried in my heart for many years.

When our sons were aged ten and seven, we adopted a baby girl. It was at a moment when I dearly wished I could freeze time. My heart delighted in those two - all adventure and little boy sweetness. The only thing missing was, perhaps, a splash of pink and lace. And so she came into our lives...


with sweet smiles, soft curls and - even at three months - a strong will. Our little country community embraced her - with handmade blankets, adorable dresses and so much love.


I remember the judge telling us, the day her adoption became official, that children of adoption were very special even in the eyes of the law. While it is possible to disown a biological child, that isn't true of an adopted child. They are forever yours. Oh yes.


I remember the day I took her into the nearest big town to do some shopping. The boys were in school, so it was just me and the baby. I carried her in my arms as I walked from store to store in the mall - that cute little bundle no one could possible resist.

It happened across an aisle as I browsed through racks of clothing. I made eye contact with a woman standing just a short distance from us, and before I could smile she gave me a look that spoke volumes. I don't even want to type the words out. Suffice it to say, in that moment I got just a little taste of what racism is all about.


I probably should have said something. I'm not good at confrontation. Besides, she wasn't the only one. It seemed everywhere I looked, I saw the same message clearly written in hostile eyes. I just left the store and drove home.


All the way home I wrestled with the hurtful feelings that filled me right up. I'm the girl who wants everyone to like her. I try my darnedest to please and not offend. How dare they judge me - us - on our appearance? They don't know us. They don't know our circumstances. How dare they think less of my beautiful baby based on the color of her skin. There was, I'm afraid to say, a sort of impotent rage at the injustice.

There was a shifting that day, a putting up of a protective shield, a wariness of strangers. Perhaps I had become a bit judgmental myself. I don't know.

My story is so small and insignificant in comparison to the stories of others. I hope the telling helps in some way.

Blessings,
Linda


5 comments:

  1. Miss Linda -

    Every story is significant. Every.One.

    What I take from this is pure love -- the greatest command of God put into action.

    Thank you for sharing the story, your heart, and the images.

    Blessings.

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  2. Oh, Linda! There is such grace and power in your little stories. Thank you.

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  3. I love your stories, Linda. I have never found one of them to be insignificant. In fact, they have all spoke volumes to my life. I hate confrontation too. If I had been in your shoes that day, I'm sure I wouldn't have confronted those people. I really believe you chose the best thing, because I doubt you would have changed their minds. Anyway, you have a beautiful daughter!!!

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