Feminist Spoiler Alert: I do NOT cook.
Sorry, future partner. Don’t come over here with those traditional gender roles. I eat. I do NOT cook.
I’m the type of person that buys something from the market, takes it to the office potluck and fronts like I whipped that up like I was Betty Crocker. That is, until that one Joe person with allergies blows up my spot and I have to go dig deep in the trash to uncover the package I hid to see if it’s safe for them to eat.
I was blessed when I moved to my new apartment, being welcomed by neighbors who loved to share food they actually cooked. Every once in a while, I like to return the favor. So I Chef Fraud it up by going to the Fresh Grocer on 4th and buy their pre-seasoned Jerk Chicken so I can stunt on my Rican neighbor who makes a mean red beans and rice.
Yesterday, I cooked up some of my Famous “Fresh Grocer” Jerk Chicken to share with my neighbor after he helped set up my “reading/writing swing.”
I texted my neighbor around 4:00 p.m. and told him to come down and get his food.
While I waited, I swung in the “reading/writing swing,” a wicker bird cage chair my mom bought in Germany back in the 80’s and blasted my ratchet tunes while I wrote, “Have You Ever Laid Down with the Wrong One?”
Just a TON of Jerk Chicken sitting on my countertop.
I texted him and said, “wassup?”
His response: “I knocked on the door but you didn’t answer.”
By this time, he was off to work and I was stuck with a TON of Jerk Chicken sitting on my countertop. Now, I’m not complaining because your girl loves her some Famous “Fresh Grocer” Jerk Chicken but it made me think:
What else have I missed because I was distracted by the noise around me?
I know. Your probably wondering: “What does any of this have to do with Jesus knocking on my door. Focus. Get to the point already.”
At church, on November 20th, my Pastor- the HNIC [I’d say ‘p.s. sorry for the language, Grammy’ but I don’t think Grammy knows what HNIC means so I’m good]- said, “You had to go through what you went through. It was necessary; but it wasn’t necessary for you. It was necessary for the people you will encounter.”
It’s easy to say: “Lord, why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this?”
As a Social Justice Warrior, I understand what my Pastor was saying that day.
We need the experience, strength and wisdom that comes from our trials and tribulations. Yes, we benefit personally- whether we choose to look at it that way or not- but more importantly, we’re in a unique position to use this experience, strength and wisdom to benefit other people.
Amerikkka was built with the intention of being an individualist society (i.e., “me and mines gon’ be good”).
I hate that mentality. What’s the point if only you and yours are good?
I’d argue, we have a moral obligation for all people to be good; to be collective in nature; not individualistic.
We have a moral obligation to share the experience, strength and wisdom we’ve gained from our trials and tribulations. So that others don’t have to experience the pain that may have temporarily debilitated us. So that others don’t lose faith like we may have.
This is not me shaming you for not being the advocate, educator and mentor you could be. I recognize we cannot be all things to all people. However, you can be one thing to one person IF you’re willing to put yourself out there, accept the judgment and shade haters gon’ throw, roll up your sleeves, get dirty and do the work. So we all can be good.
There will come a time when Jesus knocks on your door; inviting you to do that one thing for one person. But will you hear Jesus knock?
I didn’t hear my neighbor knock on my door for his serving of my Famous “Fresh Grocer” Jerk Chicken because I was distracted by my ratchet tunes.
I wonder how many times I missed Jesus knocking on my door because I was too distracted with… well, life. You know. Too distracted by my relationship or family problems. Too distracted by my neighbors dog who has no chill and barks 24 hours a day. Too distracted by the comment someone made that had me like, “nigga, did you really just….” Too distracted by my ratchet reality shows or the latest viral whatever.
Don’t get me wrong, I like being distracted.
As a Type-A, I can’t be idle. As a child I would take every piece of clothing I owned out of my dresser drawers just so I had something to do when I got home from school.
I’d do anything to keep myself busy; to avoid silence.
Why? I think it’s because when we remove the distractions and noise, we’re forced to think. Forced to think about the mistakes- no decisions- we’ve made. Forced to think about the experiences that have caused us pain. Forced to use our brain, instead of letting it run on auto-pilot.
It’s much easier to be distracted.
Now that I live alone, I’ve learned to appreciate the silence. To literally sit on my floor and do nothing. I use that time to think. To grieve. To laugh about the hoodrat stuff I did with my friends. To cry. To question. To plan. To grow.
An added bonus: When I remove the distraction and noise, I can hear Jesus knocking on my door and open it, with my “Alisia Smile,” ready to serve my people.