As I woke up from an unsatisfactory car nap, my husband informed me that we had crossed the Mason-Dixon line.
“Yeah, so?” I replied.
“So we’re Yankees.” He quipped.
“Haven’t we always been?” I asked.
“Yes, but they aren’t.” He answered.
“Oh. We’re in that part of the country,” I thought. Twang and grass coming out of their mouths.. Living in Chicago all my life, I would join many others in the over stereotyped teasing of Southern culture.
But Saturday was different, it wasn’t a joke. We were getting close to our new home; the drive to D.C. was almost over.
We sat in a little restaurant in a small town in Maryland. My husband, Jim, calmly and near joyfully enjoyed cherry pie with ice cream. I couldn’t help, but listen to every accent that came through the door, and it made me cringe.
That’s when I heard my Father’s voice, “Here you are daughter, having just listened to a sermon about who you have contempt for and you couldn’t think of anyone? Here’s someone.”
I was disgusted by my own self-righteousness and ‘better than you’ attitude. My geographical arrogance. But I couldn’t shake it. Where did this come from?
Tragically, the cycle of prejudice continued and my chocolate cream pie wasn’t tasting as delicious as it looked. I was peering at a tall tree and dusting off deep roots of bigotry. I was not just offended with Southerners. I was sickened by people who had racial prejudices. How dare they! Right? Right. They are such horrible people that they judge by color, and I am above that because I judge by the way a person pronounces words. Really stepped it up there, hey Hannigan?
The truth is we don’t like to see the evil in ourselves. We are quick to see it in others and quick to be comfortable with people like us. We are happy to have someone to look down on because if that’s true than we must be some kind of god. We must know better.
I’m not God; I’m not a god. I’m just a person and I am sorry. I am sorry to all of my fellow countrymen who live below the Mason-Dixon line, who I’ve loved with my lips, but hated with my heart. Now my heart is exposed and it is twisted.
Furthermore, I’ve hated those that hate as if I wasn’t doing the same thing. Prompting myself to judge, I declared guilt with no grace. I am sorry.
My excitement for the new adventure that I have declared this move to be, melted as I recognized that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who created man in His image, may not just be bringing me to the east coast to show others His love and salvation, but to show ME others who He loves and saves. And to save me from my selfish, inwardly-turned soul.