Eleven high school classmates met Saturday in Indianapolis to plan a reunion. “We want to reconnect with old friends,” most said.
I found myself moving a different direction. I don’t want to “re” anything: reconnect, remember, revisit. I want to meet my classmates as if for the first time, because we were so young, insular and foolish then. I want us to know what we have become.
I want to meet those who occupied parallel cultures, especially the 60% who were black and with whom I hardly exchanged a word.
It’s probably delusional, but I imagine us healing some old wounds, racial and otherwise, both our own and those of a city that has been tortured by race for many generations.
We were a leadership school. Let’s be leaders now. I imagine a “Walk to Dignity”: gather at our feeder grade schools, walk as groups to Shortridge High School, but then all of us enter by the one door. Not the “black doors” on 34th Street or the “white doors” on the north side. Not staying with our groups, but joining hands with people we should have known then and now can.
Be a model for the city. Proclaim to a divided city: at some point, we have to walk hand in hand, whatever hurt and anger we caused and felt, because life is too precious and short to remain in enmity.
We can invite the city to walk with us. Now there’s an audacious dream.
FAITH Q & A
Q: I am a 94-year-old woman; cradle Episcopalian, who has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. The doctors say there is no treatment and they cannot predict how long my life-ending journey will take. What words of courage can you give me?
A: First, be not afraid. Your Lord goes before you. Follow, and be glad in his rest.
Second, you aren’t alone. Whether you live or die, you are the Lord’s possession, and God will bear you up on eagle’s wing.
Third, in words I have said countless times as I followed a casket up the aisle, “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives and that at the last he will stand upon the earth. After my awaking, he will raise me up; and in my body I shall see God. I myself shall see, and my eyes behold him who is my friend and not a stranger.”
Fourth, as Paul said, nothing can separate you from the love of God. Not death, not life, not suffering, not cancer – nothing can separate you from the love of God in Jesus Christ.
You have sung those words and said them. Now is the time to set them as a seal on your heart, and to feel the love of God binding you and releasing you.