While we were stopped for gas, I told Ben to stay in the vehicle.
I had not liked the noise I was hearing.
Oh, it wasn’t the seat belt hanging out the car door, dragging on the ground noise that I didn’t like.
It was the sound of the man in the white Taurus. It was the racial slur I heard.
We were traveling on vacation. It was time to stop to fill the gas tank and our stomachs. It was dark outside. We were able to get gas and some food on this stop. It was dark outside.
On the opposite side of the gas pump we were using was a Ford Expedition. The man was traveling with his wife. He was minding his own business.
While we both were filling our gas tanks, it seems the couple in the white Taurus were making there presence known in the convenience store. The lady had stood in line at the counter for 15 minutes asking a bunch of random questions. Meanwhile behind her the line was getting long in number and short on patience. Finally she finished her business and went outside.
The driver of the white Taurus started yelling out his car window as he patrolled the gas station. He told the man who was filling his gas tank opposite of me to “go back where you belong.” There was even the use of the “N” word by the guy in the white Taurus.
Finally, the white Taurus and its occupants left the gas station. I then told Ben he could get out of the vehicle. He did what he needed to do. It was after we were on the road that I told him what had happened.
As I finished filling our vehicle, I spoke to the man at the opposite pump from us. He was a middle-aged man, of dark skin complexion. He told me about the couple in the white Taurus. He said, “I am a Native American.” So, where did he have to go? – these were his words to me! He said he told the man in the white Taurus to just get going.
It was good to chat with the man at the pump. His license plate indicated that he had served in the U.S. Army. We finished our conversation and went on our separate ways. It was dark outside. But two Americans had talked and were better for it.
I told the Army veteran that we Americans needed God. He agreed with me.
It was dark outside. But there is light for America. There will come a time when I won’t have to explain to my son about racial bigotry. Then it won’t be dark outside anymore. God, help us to know you and your ways. I ask for this in the Name of Jesus. Amen.