In 1965 you may have been raising your children, or you may have just been a twinkle in your daddy’s eye. Me? I was in second grade. Civil Rights was in full swing, but I simply enjoyed playing on the swing set – oblivious to the chaos swirling through Alabama. Until … that day on the playground.
We hadn’t lived in Attalla very long, so I didn’t know many children. We didn’t stay there long enough to make many memories, but I do remember the day we all went outside for recess. Integration laws had just passed, and on the back steps of the school sat a little African-American girl with braided hair, a crisp new dress, and white frilly socks. While boys chased girls around the schoolyard, I watched the girl. She sat all alone. Scared. Lonely. There was no one else anywhere around that looked similar. I still remember how my heart hurt for her. I knew that feeling of not knowing anyone. I knew how it felt to be stared at, yet I was staring. I wanted to go over and talk to her, but I didn’t. I was afraid because I thought she might not want to talk to me because I was different. For some reason, our paths never crossed again. Our insecurities and fragile hearts caused two little girls to go without what they needed most – a new friend.
We all miss chances to make new friends, or renew old friendships. Mostly, because we’re too busy thinking about our own hang-ups and to-do lists. Today, rather than beating ourselves up over missed opportunities, why don’t we all just take a minute to look around, and see who God puts in our thoughts or stands right in front of us. Go ahead! Be a friend! This is going to be a fun Tuesday!
Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today”. – Hebrews 3:13