A couple of days ago, I went to a local gas station to get some gas. The young man who served me was black. While he filled my tank, we began to talk about life and our shared interests. As our conversation continued, he looked over my shoulder with concern on his face and said, “Oh no. Here she comes again.” I looked up to see a woman standing at the road edge. “The last time she was on the property she was yelling the “n” word at me.” After the initial contact, the store manager came to his employee’s defense and told the woman not to return.
When I paid my bill, I looked the young man in the eye and said, “I want you to know if the stuff ever hits the fan there a lot of us here who will have your back.” He looked up from the cash register into my eyes and said, “Thanks.”
In life when horrible and cruel things happen just because we were created by God to be uniquely different from each other, no one should ever feel alone. Perhaps that is a message we need to convey to each other on this day when we honor the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.