Somebody’s Gotta Go First

It was called “Beats and Brunch”, a grassroots idea that sprang from another grassroots idea. What would happen was, after each open mic night we’d host the artists who performed the next day for Brunch as a thank you. Maybe we’d share music ideas, maybe encourage new artists in their craft, but hopefully- breakdown walls.
Food has a way of doing that for people.

The food was provided by yours truly and prepped by the boys. Nothing like a Hector special with a side of Vic’s eggs on a Sunday morning. The vibe and mood was perfect, timid artists came back with a confidence knowing they were very much welcomed back- anytime. Especially to eat and talk. The mood shifted when a woman joined us, one who hadn’t been over the night before but one that was welcome simply because our intention was to Love. Love without pretenses. Love without conditions.
Love without AGENDA. Looking back it’s real to notice the women didn’t want Love, they wanted to make a statement. No one seemed to notice the differences between us all, expect these ladies. In reality, we weren’t that different.
Age wise, yea, I was a decade or two past them.
Talent, ok sure, what I lacked in vocal talent (which was everything) I made up for in hosting? I suppose some call it a talent?

The mood changed as race was brought to the table. The women who joined us chose to touch heavily upon this topic, in the height of BLM, they wanted to talk about the differences between my skin tone and theirs, and the issues that arise as a result.

I found their courage to bring up such a heated topic quite interesting, considering they began to insult their host and her apparent race.
I say apparent because what they didn’t know was my grandmother is full blooded Native American, raised on a reservation because, you know, they white men of Oklahoma moved them there. I shared with these women the only thing I knew, what I had learned from my grandmother- what she had learned from her Savior- Someone has got to be the first to forgive. My gramma would admonish me to Love everyone with Agape Love. I always thought it was one of her weird Native American expressions. She had a lot of them. She would say “Jenny, my God loves with Agape Love, no strings attached. We must love like that too.” At the time I didn’t know her God but I knew how she Loved. I never heard her speak unkind words. I heard of her picking up strangers off the side of the road and caring for them. I heard the story of her saving a man’s life on the freeway.
Because of this Agape Love. That was the Love I opened my home up with, to these artists, to the community surrounding us. Some received it. In the case of this woman, some did not. Someone‘s got to be the first to forgive. Yet when someone meets you as far as they know how to go- it’s now up to you to step in, and allow forgiveness to rise up. What I saw in this woman on that day was she had never experienced unconditional all Agape Love. Her idea of me, as many others, was I was white and likely I just wanted something from her. Weirdly, no. Just wanted to say thank you for using my home to share your music. I just wanted to share with all of them, there are people who Love like this, because they’ve been loved like that by a Savior who’s seen and known all they’ve done- yet STILL Loves them anyway. Those of us who know this Love are compelled to share it, in whatever awkward way we know how. For many of the kids we knew skin tone seemed to be of little issue once I said “hey! Thanks for coming to my home, I’m so glad you’re here!!”
For a few thus was a glaring challenge, one that no matter how I Loved, they simply couldn’t receive. Sapphire, you have a voice like an angel, melodic and and stunning. Your passion for her culture shamed my lack of care for my own people. Our life experiences however, so similar in nature yet skin tone separated any hope of coming to a genuine understanding. My prayer for you, for all hurt as you seem to be, is that somehow, someway, you’d experience the Agape Love of my Savior. With a plea of “someone has to be the first to forgive”, the mood changed.

Somebody’s Gotta Go First