Now what?!

Now what?  What do we do next? 

 Well, when I was little, my mama would make me think through my next steps when things didn’t go my way.  She would allow me to have my little pity party, to sulk and/or pout.  And then she would reach a point where she’d had enough of my ‘woe is me’ attitude.  In so many words she would say that you can’t change what happened, but you can change what happens next.

So now what?  What can we do to make sure this doesn’t happen again?

The issues associated with Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman are numerous and complicated.  Race is complicated.  The legal system is complicated.   We can be mad that GZ got out of his truck or we can be mad that no one truly saw exactly what happened or how it went down.  We can be mad that GZ said he felt threatened, even though the boy was only trying to get home and GZ pursued him. (And let’s all be honest…who wouldn’t fight back if approached while walking down the street?  Trayvon had a right to defend himself, right?)

We can be mad for many reasons, but we can’t be mad at God…he planned all of this from beginning to end.  Make no mistake though, if mama was here today, she would be angry enough to spit (she would say that from time  to time.)  Not because the jurors found GZ not guilty and not because GZ’s lawyers or family members or GZ himself chose not to accept blame for Travyon’s death.  Mama would be angry because the young life of a child was ended prematurely. Her goal would be to make sure that no other child would have to go through that.  Mama was always about the children.  Seeing children go through unnecessary hurt and pain bothered mama tremendously and hurt her to her core.

TrayvonMartinHooded

So what is OUR driving force now?  What do we do next?  This decision was no accident.  We CANNOT go back to living life normally. God was in this from the very beginning.  He knew that Trayvon’s parents would be in pain and God knew that we would all get caught up in this case for numerous reasons.  But God also knows exactly what positive changes will be made because of this.  And positive changes will be made. We have to believe that.

Am I angry?  No, I’m just sad. Sad that this young child’s last few minutes of life were spent in sheer terror and pain.  Breaks my heart to think about it actually.  None of us would want anyone we know to experience that. So, now what?  Do you mentor little boys and teach them what not to do? Do you help change the legal system?  Do you volunteer or speak out about racial injustice and unfair treatment when you see it?  

In the meantime, let’s do this…pray for the Martin and Zimmerman families. And definitely for the jurors and their families.  Pray for the Martin family because their lives have been altered in ways that they wouldn’t have ever imagined.  They need all the guidance and support they can get.  The Zimmerman family because they are an example of how one split-second decision can have major consequences that affect many…praying they figure out how to navigate this situation and be able to move forward without any more negative consequences.  And for the jurors because that could have been anyone of us charged with doing our civic duty.  They were given a very heavy responsibility and they did what they could with the information they had. Pray that their lives don’t change for the negative and they too learn from the situation.

We couldn’t save mama from lung cancer, but from this point forward I’m doing what I can to help improve the lives of others experiencing health issues.  Let’s do what we can when negative situations invade our lives…Move forward in positive, constructive ways.

When you can’t do anything about the past, you do something about the future.

The Comfort of Coffee

I know, coffee has caffeine.  But for me, coffee has always been a ‘soothing’ beverage.  I don’t ‘need’ it coursing in my veins to get me going in the morning. What I do need is the smell of coffee brewing. SMELLS SO GOOD!  I think that’s all that there is to it for me. The smell.  See, growing up, my mom and her mom always had coffee in the house, COMMUNITY COFFEE to be exact. That’s the brand we folks from Louisiana grew up on.  

Before these fancy brewers, it was just a jar of instant coffee granules and hot water boiling in a “tea” pot.

The smell reminds me of childhood.

Of brisk fall mornings getting ready for school and knowing mom was making grits for breakfast. And knowing that I was gonna have toast and COFFEE.  Yep, I drank coffee as a kid. Probably explains a lot about me now! But it also reminds me of hot and sticky summers spent at my “Mo-mo’s” house deep in strawberry country in south Louisiana.  She lived at the back corner of a country road, as in not paved. Dirt and rocks.  In front of her house was, of course, a strawberry patch.  I don’t think I realized how good we had it.  Life was slow and easy.  No cable (three local channels, well, a couple more if count the stations we would get out of New Orleans) and definitely no internet or cell phones.  It was comforting.

So when I brew coffee in my cute red and black brewing machine, it’s not really what’s IN the cup. It’s the memories that come with SMELLING what’s in the cup. Sometimes I don’t even finish a full cup. I don’t need to because all I needed to do is smell it to flashback to my great memories of childhood.

I probably had a cup of Community right before this photo was snapped way back in 1976!