Not Separate. Just Equal.


It really didn’t occur to me until after I was settled. By then, even if I had cared (I didn’t), I wouldn’t have moved for all the trouble it would’ve caused.

See, I’m sort of an obnoxious nonfan. It’s true. I don’t get all the brouhaha over sports. I mean it’s not like it’s music. Or writing. Or even the one sport I enjoy: church basketball (I know all the players). So I find it baffling that people who have not one child playing or cheering on the field focus so intently on high school football.

Recently, though, it has been brought to my attention by my beloved son–who plays in the marching band with his sister–that I have become not a little offensive due to my avid nonfan behavior. I’m not what you’d call nonvocal in my conviction that there is way too much football leading up to the main event on Friday night: the half-time show by the marching band which includes two of my biological children and many other kids whose events I try not to miss.

So last night, I got there on time (okay, five minutes late, but for me, that’s practically early) and took a lawn chair so I could sit on the back row and at least be comfortable (I also took my Greek Interlinear New Testament, but really, who didn’t?). By the time I arrived at the location I intended to occupy with my portable comfort, there was only one spot left on the row–not quite half way down.

I begged pardon from those I had to worm around  as I worked my way to my seat. Once there, I unfolded, unpacked, and settled in for the game. I looked around me and it was only then that I realized: I was parked in what most folks would call the “Black Section.” (Actually white people say it like this: they whisper “black,” then say “section,” audibly. Cuz, ya know, folk may not know they’re black and we don’t want to break the news. Whatever.)

Turns out my resolve to watch the game only lasted for a few seconds; I began reading soon after I took my seat. I took breaks, though, to notice interactions around me. Little boys in high school jerseys way too big for them clamored into moms’ laps, begging for concessions, asking about the score. Little girls with hair fixed just so, reached into tiny purses for indescribable treasures. Some adults focused on the game; some didn’t. If you hadn’t known we were different, you never would have guessed.

The text I was reading? Oh, 1st John. Where he talks about the humanity of Christ. About how because of Christ, we can set aside our differences and find fellowship with one another.

And yeah. I left after half-time. Baby steps, friends. Baby steps.

For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.                                                     1 John 3:11

By Aileen MItchell Lawrimore

Aileen Mitchell Lawrimore is a mother x 3, wife x 35 (years not men), minister, speaker, writer, retreat leader, and lover of beagles and books. She has a lot to say.