Updated: Jul 17, 2020
"If you want, we can order it for you and you can come here to pick them up?" Little did any of us know there would be no "here" to pick anything up.
It was a Friday and Keith and I were in the Champs store. We're rarely out together (without the kids) browsing through shoe stores and by rarely I pretty much mean never! But here we were on a Friday in the shoe store looking for Keith some new shoes. Since he wears a common size, it's pretty typical for us to see a store attendant return from the back empty handed.
"I'm sorry we don't have your size, would like for us to order it? If you want, we can order it for you and you can come here to pick them up?"
Little did any of us know there would be no "here" to pick anything up. In less than 48 hours, the store was gone, completely gone! Peaceful protesters flooded the streets early Saturday morning over the death of George Floyd. By nightfall, things had taken a turn for the worst. Many business were looted and some were burned but of the worst (here in Tampa, FL) was the Champs on Fowler avenue.
A week later and her words continued to ring in my ears, "If you want...you can come here to pick them up". So kind and so confident. Confident in her guarantee that there would be a "here" and confident that she could produce her promise.
Her words still ring in my ears. In fact, when they come to mind it slightly causes the hairs on my arm to rise. It's such a chilling reminder that tomorrow isn't promised. It was just the yellow flashing sign I needed..."WARNING...IN LESS THAN 48 HOURS THIS ALL COULD BE GONE"!
We didn't want to order the shoes but just like her, I too was confident that if we had they would at least be there.
It's chilling to me because even in the midst of a pandemic, how in the world could I have still been so confident in tomorrow?
"What do you know about tomorrow? How can you be so sure about your life? It is nothing more than mist that appears for only a little while before it disappears."- Proverbs 27:1
If you're living in 2020 then you've heard this said already, "We're living in uncertain times". Well it's true we are. However, I would venture to say that times are always uncertain and from what I gather from the book of Proverbs we should be living with an understanding that tomorrow may not come.
I don't know for certain but I can almost bet high that George Floyd never thought he would lose his life as he drove to a store that day. I can't read the thoughts of others but I don't believe Ahmaud Arbery's mother intended on burying her son this year. There is no way the young lady working at Champs would have ever suggested placing an order for us if she knew there would be no store.
The writer of Proverbs penned the question, "What do you know about tomorrow"....I know nothing absolutely nothing about tomorrow.
And as a person of color living in America the weight of that question makes it even heavier to bear.
Black, white, brown, or purple here is what we must know. Even well after the pandemic is over, times are still uncertain. So, we would do well to live like it....because we're only going to be here just for a little while.