I have become friends with an older black gentleman named Lawrence. We met at the Peet’s a block away from my office.
I forget how we began talking the first time, something about rap music. Lawrence does not like rap music. “It’s not bad music. I just like to think about positive things. They sing with such attitude and dress with such attitude,” he said, “Sometimes things work better than anger.”
He talked about putting good things in your body. He told me how he likes looking at the stars, watching the sunsets, seeing rainbows.
I told him my favorite L.M. Montgomery quote, “rainbows are just as real as mud puddles” The world has enough mud puddles; you might as well make more rainbows. Lawrence agreed.
Today, he recognized me and called me to sit down at his table.
He opened like this, “Quite a few things have happened since the last time we conversed.”
And I wanted to talk about it so badly. So, we did. We talked about Paris and Syria and all those mud puddles. He talked about how Jesus put positive things in his body. I talked about how we don’t have a safe God. He quoted Hebrews and James. I quoted Isaiah. And we talked about the Indians at the first Thanksgiving.
“Oh, if they had know what we were going to do to them!” Lawrence said.
“Yes,” I said, “Would it have made it any less right to help us? Would it have made it any less wrong not to help us?”
Lawrence and I must’ve looked an odd site, because people were staring. An old black man and a young white mother, tucked in the corner, huddled earnestly over coffee cups. What would we possibly have to offer each other? On what level could we possibly meet?
Or maybe they were seeing our rainbows.