Saturday, June 19, 2010

miss alice

..."Or you can call me Miss Alice-in-Wonderland," this slightly stout, middle-aged black woman chuckled next to me. We hardly knew each other, both of us of different cultures, different backgrounds, different skin coloring.

Sitting there in the sweltering sun that only Florida can provide so effortlessly, we small-talked. After running out of mindless, meaningless things to discuss, she glanced at my tattooed foot asking me to quote the verse written there. I quickly regurgitated back to her Psalm 22:5, "In Him they trusted and were not disappointed, " that had ministered to me so much in times of uncertainty.

Her response was, "Mmmm.."

Like she was soaking each word in and chewing on it for a moment.
And after she'd saturated every bit of goodness from those words of truth that I'd spoken so loosely, her eyes looked past me, and she quoted some of the most beautiful words I've ever heard:

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore."

It wasn't the way they were spoken: mumbled and quick, sometimes slurred. But suddenly I trusted, Alice. I believed those words more than if a pastor had quoted them from a pulpit. She lived them.

And after that I was certain we weren't different at all.

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