Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Thought for Saturday

I realized something the other night: I know who God is. God is an old black mama from down South. Think about it. God has so much wisdom, loves you more than anyone else you know, is warm and inviting and loud, always has a hug at the ready, and is lots of fun to be around. God is also a strict disciplinarian - there's a lot of love, but oooeee boy you put one foot out of line, you in trrrroublllle!! And even the toughest gangster knows it! It's no matter, though, because the Lord's rules are rules you actually WANT to follow. And that's a perfect description of the black mamas I knew in East Texas and NOLA's Lower Ninth Ward. God is an old black mama! :)

This reminds me of a story. One of my best friends, Jon, works at a Whataburger in my old East Texas town. If you've never heard of Whataburger, it's probably 'cause you're a Damn Yankee (though admittedly, they don't have any in Kentucky or Carolina). Anyway, fast food may be a menial job, but it's still a job, so you take pride in it, and Jon is good at what he does. He is professional, he smiles, he follows directions, etc. As a result, he's developed a loyal fan base among the customers, some of who now come on a regular basis just so he can serve them. One lady, an older black mama, came through for the umpteenth time, and when he handed her her order done perfectly, she said, "Child, you tell your mama she raised you RIGHT!"

I was there when Jon told his mother this. She beamed from ear to ear and said, "Now THAT is a compliment! Those black mamas know what they're talking about!"

This isn't racial, it's cultural, but for reasons historic and geographic, race and culture often go hand in hand. And Jon's mom was right: here's a group that DOES know what they're talking about. So it's my guess that if God has a human form these days, it's as an old black mama.

1 comment:

Leigh C. said...

Hee! Whataburger makes some damn good burgers. I do miss that about east Texas.