Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers (The Epistle to the Hebrews 13.1-2a)
Yesterday and another hot, humid South Carolina afternoon. My cart half-filled, I stood, more or less (more, I confess, less) patiently in line at the market.
Before me, a young black man. A bottle of water in hand. His pants slung low. His tank top hanging loosely from his narrow shoulders.
Before him, an older, portly white man. His suspendered trousers high on his waist. His cart, a psalmic “cup running over” with groceries.
Nearing check-out, the older gentleman turned. Up-and-down, he looked at the young man.
“My dear sir,” his Southern drawl molasses-thick, “you only have one item. You go ahead of me.”
I couldn’t see the young man’s face, but I heard his voice, his tone registering surprise, “Thanks. Appreciate it.”
America’s tenaciously long-lived racial divide wasn’t healed. Nevertheless, spontaneously, I smiled. This little act in the giving and in the receiving, in a big way, fortified my hope that – in a world and time of increasing anxiety and anger, particularly in the public square and directed at “the other” – civility lives.
© 2022 PRA