I’m feeling pretty miserable just now, so I’m going to write it down and hope it eases the pain.
I’m a black, half Filo/half African American girl. I have afro hair and a flat nose. I have dark gums which has nothing to do with dental hygiene, they’re just dark. All of me is dark.
I hate it. I always have.
When I was little, other kids called me “nigger” or “Abo”. They would poke or prod me and pretend to “spray away the nigger germs”. It hurt sooo incredibly deeply. Repeated with glee over a decade, those racist comments melded to my very bones.
I felt so dirty. So unwanted and alone. No one would befriend the small, skinny black girl in the playground. It was a profound, lasting loneliness.
To try to compensate for being black (aka “unclean”), I would wipe whatever item someone asked me for “Yo – can I borrow a pen?” “Hey, do you have a spare paperclip?” on my shirt to ‘sanitise’ it before giving it away.
I still do that to this day, it’s been so deeply ingrained in me.
So when a friend hugs me close…oh man…that means so much to me. If a friend puts an arm around me or squeezes my hand in encouragement…it lights me up.
Reading in the Bible about lepers really hits hard because they too were shunned by society. Noone would touch them.
But Jesus did.
Every day, He touches my heart, and through an incredible bunch of caring, sweet friends…He blesses me through touch. A hug from a friend. A high five from a bestie. A linking of arms, a hand held in a scary time, a cheerful pat on the back when I’ve done something awesome…it all means so much.
To the racists out there – the black doesn’t come off, assholes. You can’t “catch” colour. You’d be lucky if you did.
It’s ok to touch someone you care for…or even to lay a gentle hand on the arm or shoulder of someone you might not know well, but you think really needs that human contact. That connection.
Today, I was loading woven baskets into the back seat of an Uber. I’d gone nuts and bought so many baskets of all sizes from Kmart, bless me. I really love baskets. Lol.
I ran around the back of the car to try to squeeze into the back-seat on the other side of where I’d piled my many baskets and the Uber Driver laughed “You can come sit up front with me! It’s ok!”
Omg that touched my heart so much, it brought instant tears to my eyes.
Small, thoughtful things we say or do for strangers…it can mean a lot.
So if you can, (and if it’s safe) reach out and touch someone. It’s going to really bless someone.