I sipped some coffee and crunched a cookie. A young mother sat at the next table with her son.
“Still mad at your friend?” She asked taking a bite of her sandwich. He had a pout and folded his arms across his chest, not interested in his lunch.
“He said I’m black!” Tears rolled down his cheeks. “Different!”
She wrapped up her sandwich and put her arms around him.
“But hey, you are darling….and you’re beautiful…right?”
“But I’m not black Mommy….I’m brauuuuuwn.” He said with the cutest drawl. I had to smile.
His mother laughed and tossing her fringe out of her view, she picked him up.
“Daddy’s shoe’s black, Mommy…like…like your coat.” He pointed. She was wearing a black coat. “I do know colors and I’m brauuuuuwn…..brauuuuuwn like chocolate!”
“You are brown, sweetheart….like chocolate…and chocolate’s sweet.” She kissed him and he wrapped his small arms around her.
How do you tell a child that there are no brown people; just black and white and all others in between? How you explain to them that we live in a colorful world created by a color-blind God? How do you soothe the hurt when they learn that we operate a system where not all colors are beautiful? How do you help them understand that one day colors will fade away and only souls given to Christ would live forever? Those were the thoughts I pondered as I lay down to sleep that night.
* * * *
I had to wake up. I was having a bad dream and in it I was choking. I opened my eyes, coughing. I reached for the bed-side lamp but it……..”Oh my God! There was a fire!”
I hurried to the door burning my hand as I turned the hot knob. An envelope of flames engulfed me and I dashed back inside. I headed for the bathroom and as I closed the door behind me I felt my feet give way. I was falling through charred wood.
“Jesus! Save me!” I cried out helplessly.
And everything went black.
* * * *
“I’m John with the fire department and I’m here to help you. You’re safe.”
Help! I thought because at that moment, ‘safe’ was something I definitely wasn’t.
I could barely see through the smoke and the heat from the fire was baking my skin. From my thighs down, I was completely covered in rubble. My arm was bent backwards and my head hurt. I tasted blood and knew I must have hit it hard when I fell. I wanted to speak but realized I couldn’t. I couldn’t move either. The last thing I remembered as the flames licked at my face, was John lifting me into his arms in one amazing sweep, with such amazing strength.
* * * *
Sirens. I heard sirens. Then a man…no….men, shouting. I opened my eyes. I was surrounded by paramedics who were strapping me up to all kinds of equipment.
“You’re amazing ma’am. A survivor. We tried to get to you but you were right in the centre of the inferno. There’s no way we would have gotten you out from under that rubble in time to make it. It’s incredible how you got here.” A burly man from the fire department said.
“What?” I was confused.
“We don’t know how you did it but somehow you got yourself out from under all that and crawled your way out here.”
“No…you don’t understand. Some guy named John. He said he was with you. He carried me out here.”
“You must have hit your head pretty bad ma’am. You don’t have any cuts or bruises but we’d need to get you checked for internal injuries.” The paramedic pointed out.
I shook my head. “Something’s wrong here…” I could still see John’s face. It shone through my hazy thoughts like the clearest crystal. Then it hit me. Jesus did send help to save me.
“You sure are right about that. We don’t have no John, Jon or Johnny with us. You must have seen an angel.” The men chuckled. “What was he like? Can you describe this fellow?”
All I could remember was that he was brown…..like chocolate.
“You mean a black guy?” The burly man asked incredulously.
I smiled and rubbed my forehead. “Whatever.”
“Hey! Let’s get this chic to the E.R.!”
They thought I was crazy….I knew I wasn’t.
I had seen an angel and it hadn’t mattered what his color was.
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