This year was the 8th year we have served the marchers on MLK day. We chose to hand out hundreds of hand warmers. It was a 35 degree day with a wind of about 10 miles and hour. As always it is a pleasure to meet so many intelligent, caring, sharp people of all races. The people we met were passionate about the change over the last 30 or so years. Yet we can all say we have land to possess, and personal prejudices to lay down.
Me, recently I realized that I have a tendency to ‘profile’ people… put them in my box, or jump to my opinion concerning who they are, why they are who they are, and how they got to be where they are.
I’m asking for a change of heart.
Usually, after talking at length with a person my ‘profiling’ proves to be in error. Here’s an example: Someone came to me recently urgently wanting to be Baptized, I replied, ‘Well, we will be having a baptism in March. The person then stated, ‘I need to be baptized before Jesus returns!’ My profiling, locked the person into a person who was unstable, after all Jesus most probably won’t return until after March.
Then the person stated, ‘I have cancer.’ humm! Now I have a different perspective, more illumination, my profiling box was broken. They were no longer in my box labeled as an unstable person, but the reality, they were a desperate person.
The truth, I was the unstable person. So, I admit I need to be more open hearted less judemental.
The highlight of the outreach was meeting one 82 year old lady. She was a hoot. We laughed as she told us stories of her life and how she raised her kids who were now a doctor and an architect. She laughed as she told us ‘We have come a long way, she then dropped the punch line with a twinkle in her eye, my daughter works in a an office… and now… she’s over 20 white people. Times have sure changed.’
The night before the march, Pattie and I watched the documentary of the assassination of MLK and the story of James Earl Ray. Quite a contrast of belief systems and destiny. Again, I was moved by Martin’s last talk the night before the his tragic end.