I went shopping yesterday. I was looking for a cheap dress to wear to a couple of weddings I’m going to this month. The trip was unsuccessful. There weren’t any pretty, cheap dresses to be found. I went to Anthropologie the other day (let the drooling commence) to look at the gorgeous clothes and found the most beautiful dress I’ve ever seen. If I had a few extra hundred dollars maybe I’d buy it…
But back to yesterday. I went to TJ Maxx, Ross, and Burlington Coat Factory. They’re all pretty cheap shops, and they’re all in the same shopping plaza here in Nashville. In the hour I spent shopping I probably heard at least 5 different languages being spoken. I realized at one point that I was one of only a few white people. I thought about my trip to Anthropologie and Whole Foods earlier in the week. I think there were only white people in both of those stores. I’ve known for a long time that we still segregate ourselves in America, whether racially, religiously, socio-economically, etc. It just hadn’t been thrown in my face in a while.
I also realized that I live in a bubble. Totally. When I was in college I had lots of friends. Some were Christians. Some were Jewish. Some were black. Some were Asian. Lots were white. Now all of my friends look and think the same way I do. It’s easy. But easy isn’t always good. It actually seems like it usually isn’t.
There’s a lot of diversity at our church both socio-economically and ethnically. We all love Jesus, but we all look and live very differently. But the fact is, I’m not really friends with most of these folks. I’m not “doing life” with them. I just show up.
After my unsuccessful trip yesterday I stopped at a coffee shop and wrote my thoughts on a napkin. I wrote about how the afternoon had made me feel, and at the end I asked myself two questions: First, what am I going to do about this whole bubble situation? Second, do I actually want to do anything about it?
I think it will take more than an afternoon to figure this stuff out…if indeed there is figuring out to be done. Perhaps it’s time to get uncomfortable.