This Sunday evening finds me enjoying that ubiquitous dining experience known as the Waffle House. Having played the morning services at Hunter Street, I’m in full ‘hang out’ mode, as I have a session tomorrow at Bates Brothers Recording here in the Birmingham area. Eating on the road is always an interesting challenge, but the Waffle House is tried and true when all else fails.
I posted on social media earlier today that I’d been thinking a lot about faith. For me, thinking has always proven to be a dangerous proposition! Lots of stuff has been going on lately that is challenging what I believe faith can and should mean. Like the forecast of rain, I sensed today that my rambling rumination would find release.
But this is not that post. I’ll save those deep thoughts for another time.
I grew up here in Birmingham. As one born in the early Sixties (no comments, please), I’ve witnessed many changes. I remember one Saturday morning when I was maybe five or six, my Dad and I were on the way somewhere in the family car. We stopped at an intersection in our home town of Center Point, where I noticed some folks standing on each corner with buckets pressed forward in anticipation of collection.
They were dressed in white robes and hoods.
I had no idea who these men were, and why they were dressed so funny. I looked to my Dad…he was red-faced with anger, and his fists looked to be crushing the steering wheel.
“Who are those guys, Dad?”
“A bunch of damn fools.”
It was only until later that I learned about the Clan, and our Southern ‘heritage’ and the idiocy of racism and hatred.
My Dad was right.
But all these years and years later, as I sit and ponder and write, I remember a promise…that Love is the greatest force in the universe, and that God created us all in His image.
Across the aisle, an elderly white couple sits and chats with our African-American waitress. They smile and laugh and talk about the best way to preserve fresh-ground coffee. The conversation is natural and spontaneous. Nothing forced or false.
It’s then that I look to my left toward the horizon…and see a beautiful rainbow in the sky. God’s promise made of light and vapor set for all to see.
The promise was real. All you had to do was look up…or across the aisle.
Suddenly, all my doubts and questions have faded into the background.