One week ago I was here; which is only 15 miles from where the devastating tornado cut its path.
I was going to share some thoughts about the diversity of the United States, and how freedom had both birthed and encouraged it through the decades.
Instead, I have pondered for the last two evenings, the power of community.
When you live in California, land of face-paced everything; where people are more transient by nature than rooted, and glitz and WOW! precede a lot…
Oklahoma was a breath of fresh air.
Gentlemen with weather-worn faces, who had a couple of decades on me, insisted on holding doors; preceded by a warm, “Let me get that for you, m’am.”
There’s a restaurant called “The Salt Lick.”
This “game” to the rest of the nation?
It’s an institution here. It offers opportunity for people to gather in a polite-yet-rabid fashion, in stadiums that have seen multiple generations of their family. They’re seated with yet another; on their laps or in baby carriers, celebrating a passion. When I texted my dear friend, Cathryn Brown, she agreed in spirit; responding with “Absolutely NOTHING about football can be over the top!”
Community is so very important.
There was a time in America, where neighbors gathered, shared house keys in order to facilitate repair men or a child who had forgotten theirs, exchanged conversation and shared life over meals while celebrating an event. In so many places, this has given way to a fast-paced lifestyle involving automatic garage door openers, and entry into one’s home through a side door in that same garage; with possibly nothing more than a polite wave to someone whom they simply don’t know, despite their proximity.
Community matters. It grounds us, allows us to share in the lives of others, and affords us the privilege of relationship while celebrating diversity amongst people.
So that when storms come, together we are stronger. More resilient. And have greater strength.
Praying for Oklahoma today and every day.
And resolving to shore up some of my community relationships with a bit more than a convenient wave.