The scepter grows cold in the woman’s hand. Her forearm drops and the item dismantles onto the wooden floor. The panel of plywood coils up and the uniformity of the floor now needs remodeling. But all the more, she has made a statement. The pinnacle of her salvation made with one fist lifted and the other dropping the weapon that would be a protective barrier from foe to victor. She stands over him mustering the courage not to shovel the groove of steel up into his eyes for him to never be able to see the hurt from his own attrition. He’s being proctored for the very moment that made him a thug. Even now he puckers his lips upon the envelope of white skin has been plastered with a stamp of bigotry that cannot last forever. This type of act will expire and the menace of lyrical blood will accent the path of his next four years. He will trail the land that will not allow him to step backwards. He has won, so he thinks, but he cowers behind the lottery of unfinished business. The woman stands exemplary of a movement started by the mother Teresa’s and Rosa Parks’ of yesterday’s making sure that the oil for the lamp was plenty for those marching into the future. “Savage” she calls him and walks out with her boots tearing through the atrophied wood and bending it over his remnant body. She closes the door behind him with the key landing on his red tie. Her breath ascends in a gassy, visible cloud and her chest expands with the strength to move on.
School has always been a sanctuary for cranial involvement and an influx of that purpose to soften the challenge of growing up in the real world. It’s also been a location where a messenger unveils the spirit of His word in a setting where I’m already willing to listen. And much like the church, once outside, hopefully the classroom follows my verb to be a student of all facets of life.
Last Tuesday night, I went to a funeral. The better part of the valley lost a man who surrendered himself to give more than receive and we were all better for that. He never condensed my confidence over a stupid mistake and never let his pride trample his beauty to forgive. He always shook my hand and through that gesture, he affected me more than he’ll ever now know. He was a man that did for others and was recognized by an ensemble of guests who mourned on his behalf.
Our class slide show reads, “What is Cancer?” Scientifically, it makes sense, but it doesn’t make sense when it actually makes it hard for life to continue. And while the funeral can honor the man who lost a battle, the agent was foreign and unwilling to be benign in the process. It was dirty in its target, fast moving in its plan to replicate beyond the heart of his loved ones to stop it from happening.
And so that beloved man lost his life to cancer. He became brittle but love conducted beyond the evil experiment. When life looks at me, it doesn’t know me more than by the number of my cells designed by my genes; the scripture is a formula for my aging bones to find true density in what matters most. I can’t pull apart humility and try to ingrain it in my being, but I pray to replicate the good of His spirit by learning and listening to Him teach.