I shop at the same store that I always have. But for some reason, today was different. I should note also that the population where I live hasn’t changed over the years. In fact, the community is still quite small. My province is getting more diverse but it’s still a long way from other places. But tonight was the first time I realized, that even though nothing had changed, EVERYTHING had changed.
In sum, I had stopped at the grocery store to grab a salad. I was shopping with my ‘little bean’. We were being silly, laughing the whole trip, looking at the different foods, the treats and the candy. Little bean was amazed at the mannequins with no heads…..lol! To me, it was just a trip to the store. When we headed to the cash, it seemed like it was the first time I actually looked at the people around me.
There were the two guys with big beards recording their shopping trip on their phones. A couple with the cutest baby, trying to figure out the self check out. An older man picking up a few essentials. We paid and as we were walking through the first set of doors, there were two men dressed all in black huddled by the bin of cookies. My heart stopped. I couldn’t breathe. I looked at little bean and my only thought was what would I do if someone started shooting.
Like most moms, I worry about all the things my son is involved in wherein I cannot protect him. All the places he goes without me. I know Jesus is in control, and I certainly trust Him to take care of us. But today was different. For the first time I realized that we can’t control what everyone else does. How their thoughts or beliefs can suddenly affect MY world without me having done nothing to tread on theirs. I cried the whole way home…..because today I feel like my bubble burst.
My safe place is gone.
I’ve never in my life viewed people who look different from me in any other way then they are human. For example, when I was little and finally got my first cabbage patch kid, she was black but my sister got the red haired one — so I switched them, lol;) I did that because I LOVE red hair and it was so rare among the people I knew. But having skin darker than mine was common where I lived at that time. My best friend was from Greece. Another friend was from India. A boy in my class had the darkest skin I’ve ever seen. Thus, being a different nationality wasn’t weird for me. It’s just the way it was but the red hair was special … so she became mine.
Today though, seeing those two men triggered a fear in me. One that I didn’t know existed because the world I grew up in wasn’t like the one my son is growing up in. And to be totally honest, I didn’t even see their skin colour. I couldn’t even tell you what they looked like, not their hair colour, what they were wearing, if they were short or tall, skinny or not. The fear appeared out of thin air.
But here is the gist. I don’t want my son to grow up in a world where he is afraid. I don’t want to worry every time he is in a place where I can’t protect him. I don’t want the hate and anger and unfairness of this world to make him cynical. I want to keep him in my bubble — the one that suddenly burst today. The bubble where there is more good than bad, where you can go shopping and not be afraid, where a simple smile might change someone’s day for the better, where people don’t live surround by hate and discrimination.
My faith in Jesus will help me to rebuild my bubble. My trust in Jesus, will get me through the moments where I’m scared or worried. His love for US proves that it will be okay, even in the worst of circumstances. And, most of all, that Jesus is what I need, all I need and with Him holding my hand, I’m not going to doubt His ultimate plan for me.
There is this song that has taken over my playlist entitled, “Everything I Need” by John Tibbs. In part, the lyrics goes like this:
I need You more than what I see I need You more than this air I breathe
With ev’ry step and ev’ry heartbeat
Come alive, come alive, come alive in me
I will tell the mountain to be cast into the sea
I will see You when the oceans roar and know Your perfect peace
As I cry out from the desert, living waters rise in me
No, I will not fear, You are ev’rything I need
Jesus…..He is all we need. Give Him your fears, your worries, your burdens….and Jesus will give you peace.
Joshua 1:9 – “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whither soever thou goest.”