I had just passed the place where the mobile flower stand is located in Newark Penn Station when I heard someone shout the “N” word. I whipped around and I saw, what appeared to be a homeless man, looking at me while screaming. I was filled with rage. I’d done nothing, other than to be born black, to draw his scorn.
I was nearly two hours late coming home from work because I’d spent all day fighting for a fair contract for my coworkers and myself. For hours, I defended our professionalism, our pay scale, and our right to a lunch break. I was exhausted, angry and I just wanted to get home.
I tired of fighting. So, I followed the advice in Matthew 5:39 in the Bible. “Whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.”
I looked at that man and I didn’t react. I turned away and headed to the light rail. I decided that he was not worth exchanging words with at all. Then, I thought, I have bigger battles to fight like for my life/health because of my chronic illness, for my coworkers who entrusted me with their livelihood and tonight I have to fight back tears as I pray for my mother’s successful surgery tomorrow.
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