Relationships – One small step at a time

Today, as I left the church after the after school program, I noticed a group of teen guys standing on the corner I would have to walk by.  It’s always a bit intimidating, even when they aren’t really doing anything.

“What sort of mood are they in?”

“What if they’re just looking for an excuse to start something?”

“Is it worth taking a longer route to make sure nothing happens?”

These questions and fears really aren’t fair, and I’m certainly ashamed when they run through my mind.  As much as I try to fight it, I am still as prejudiced as anyone.

More important, however, is that I don’t give in to my fears and assumptions.  Since living here, I don’t think I’ve ever gone out of my way to avoid a black guys.

Today was an especially good day for me for me to stand by that.  As I approached the crowd, the first guy I saw was someone I’d known from Howard Area Community Center, and just recently saw him at our church’s potluck last week (remember the influx of area youth we’ve been having?).  I think making that connection between me volunteering at HACC and working at my church helped a lot, because I already knew him when he came in.

With that relationship in place, superficial though it may be, I was glad that he gave me a very friendly greeting, and while I didn’t have long to chat, we took the time to talk a little bit about his hunt for a job,  and see if he was coming to potluck again.  More significant was that he had no problem chatting with me in front of all his friends.

A small step, but a connection and gesture that I really appreciate.   It’s a good day.

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~ by Peter on March 5, 2008.

One Response to “Relationships – One small step at a time”

  1. thanks much, man

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