God Winked At Me


God winked at me. Yes, you heard me correctly, tonight, God winked at me. This is not something that I normally do. I don’t usually blog about my day or my personal life. When I post a blog, it’s usually about a story that I have just finished writing and want to share with the world. But tonight, no story about burning down houses, or about how to make amazing coffee, or even about bonding with your crazy mother in law whose never really liked you and vice versa. Tonight, I am going to talk about how amazing God is and the things that he has been doing in my life. Tonight, I am going to talk about connecting the dots.

This morning, I was blessed to have a very interesting discussion with a group of my coworkers. We are all educated black women, who come from different backgrounds, but yet, we all ended up working in higher education to change people’s lives. It’s funny how the conversation got started because I was sharing with them a new idea for a screenplay I am working on. And then somehow we jumped from discussing my screenplay to how black women are portrayed in the media. And from there we got on the subject of education and why is that it seems that so often, blacks don’t want more. Now, I am not sharing this to upset anyone, but it is my opinion, that to often I see my people, and they are content with living off the government and welfare and I ask myself, why don’t we want more.

Forgive me, because at this moment my thoughts are all over the place, much like our conversation today, but I promise you that it will make sense when I am done. And you too will see how all the dots connect.  Now, back to my opinion of blacks not wanting more. I understand that it is a mentality that has been passed down from generation to generation and is what I call a generational curse, and I do believe the root cause is slavery. Slavery messed us up in ways that we can’t even begin to imagine, but that’s not what I want to get into right now. Tonight, I want to talk about breaking the cycle, and each generation doing better and accomplishing more than the last.

So not to risk further offense, I will start to bring my story full circle. While talking to my coworkers, I said that I felt the media could show more positive role models for blacks. Everyone doesn’t have to be an athlete or a rapper to be successful. What about the business men and women out there who are CEO’s or better yet, what about teachers, and doctors, and nurses, and lawyers. I could go on and on, but I won’t. Because when it comes down to it, the media and television shows are about making money, and until we get tired of watching ignorant shows for entertainment, then nothing is really going to change.

After coming to that conclusion, the conversation died down, but I was glad that we got to have that talk. I haven’t had a discussion like that in quite some time. And it made me ask what could I do to make a difference. Mentoring, I tried that before, but in the end, I didn’t have time for it like I wanted too, and eventually I stopped. But lately I have been having a strong urge to do something to give back to the community. And tonight, I was blessed with the opportunity to do so, even if it was just for a few hours.

Which brings me to the end of my rant lol. I went to dinner with a dear friend who also works in higher education. And somehow we got to talking to our waitress, who shared with us that she was in the process of enrolling into school for nursing. Well after she said that, the conversation went from ordering food to asking her about her experience so far and what she was looking to get out of it. And before we knew it, she was asking us for advice, and that’s when I started connecting the dots. The very discussion I’d had with my coworkers that morning, had prepared me to talk to this young woman.

I couldn’t have been more touched by her story. She was trying to break the cycle, the generational curse that I referenced before. She was going to be the first one in her entire family to go to college. We talked to her for at least an hour. The topics ranged from study habits, to doing math equations with her, to writing down websites for references, and then me eventually offering her my contact information. And all the time she kept thanking us and telling us what an inspiration we were to her. To know that she too could do more with her life because she saw that we had. But what I don’t think she knew, no matter how much I told her, was how proud of her I really am. She inspired me! She reminded me that the work that I do is not in vain, and that I do have a purpose, and that students like her, is why I continue to do what I do.

As the night began to whine down, and we’d talked each others ears off, we said our goodbyes, and promised that we would come back at least once a month and check on her. She said that she looked forward to sharing her journey with us, and that it was nice to know that people, even if they are strangers, are in her corner. I told her to call me or email, or even facebook me whenever she needs some words of encouragement, or just needs to vent.

When my friend and I walked outside, feeling good about what we’d done and recapping the night, we saw two men standing in the parking lot and looking up at the sky. When we asked what they were looking at, they pointed to a white cloud, and said they were watching the lightening flash within the cloud. So we turned to watch it as well. It was absolutely breathtaking, and I told him that I like to believe that God does things like that from time to time just for us. Random acts of beauty is what I refer to them as, for example, a tree with yellow blossoms planted in area with simple trees surrounding it, so all you really focus on, is the tree with beautiful yellow blossoms.

My friend turned to me and said that God was winking at us. He was proud of us for encouraging the young woman we’d just met and for letting her know that she wasn’t alone in this fight for wanting something better out of life. And in that moment, I couldn’t help but smile as I felt overwhelmed by God’s love for us. He is magnificent and worthy to be praised, and I want to thank him for the opportunity to share this with the world, and hopefully touch others while in the process. So, with that being said, no matter how random something may seem, I will remind myself that it really is all part of a bigger plan. And as life goes on, I will continue to try to connect the dots, and hope that every now and then, God will wink at me, and remind me that I am not in this fight alone.

6 comments

    • Thank you Harnew. And please feel free to share my blog with others that you think might be interested. 🙂

      • I’m always marketing mines. Most of my subscribers are creative women. I will definitely be on the lookout for those who will appreciate your approach to blogging.

  1. So I finally got a chance to read one of your posts. Interesting enough, I was thinking about how African Americans are portrayed in the media today, which has some truth, but it is unfair assessment of blacks because not all of us behave in such aggressive, derogatory and demeaning ways.

    When I started writing my novel, I was intentional about not having stereotypical African American characters. I was also mindful of not crafting an urban novel. I personally don’t like them. I like to read writings that are reflective of my personal taste.

    My characters speak and dress well, they have goals, are ambitious, intelligent, sophisticate, humorous, they express their thought and emotions and they’re looking to experience not only success in life in their personal endeavors , but they are looking for true, unconditional love.

    When I write, I write with my imaginative eye of seeing my story on the screen. With that being said, I am praying to God that my novel is adapted to a film and a stage play. I want the media and African Americans to see black male characters who are able and willing to articulate their thoughts and feelings without fear of rejection to his male counterparts or women. I want them to see a man that is responsible, who is established financially, who is emotionally and spiritually stable. I also want viewers to see a man who is imperfect, who struggles with his inner demons, but seeks God to overcome them.

    I want viewers to see an African American woman who’s not too “independent” to the point that she doesn’t need a man in her life. Readers will see that Jennifer is a down to earth young lady who desires the best in life and she will not settle for less, romantically or in her career. Jennifer doesn’t have the snappy attitude as black women are portrayed in film.

    Blacks living on welfare or refusing to get a formal education is something that is perpetuated in the United States. Partly of this due to socioeconomic practices within the African American culture. In other words, if the parent isn’t educated, more than likely, he or she will not enforce or point out the value in education and the child will grow reproducing the same ill she or she came from. I think we can call this a “social reproduction theory.”

    I believe in order for communities to change within the African American culture, the media has to change will they project about blacks. Its up to writers like you and others to write stories that are not stereotypical of Africans, but to offer a different side of us that his not a figment of the Americas imagination but a fact that all African Americans aren’t the same.

    It is my duty as a writer to help change those stigmas placed on black men and women, but we have to intelligent and sophisticate about making those changes–they have to be subtly 🙂

    Let God keep winking 😉

    • Thank you Mr. Melvin Davis! It’s nice to know that I am not the only literary snob out there, lol. I agree with you on so many levels. I get there is a market out there for urban fiction, and I am not hating on the writers who do their thang when it comes to that. But I just feel that as African America authors, we have so much more to say than what we’ve been producing lately. I feel like we’re letting Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, not to mention James Baldwin, and so many other African American authors who paved the way for writers like us.

      In my novel, A Life Less Interrupted, I too tried to stay away from stereotypical characters and did my best to portray all of my characters in the best light possible. I will admit, they deal with some heavy issues, ranging from abortion to infidelity, but I tried to stay away from over the top sex scenes, or the use of foul language for no reason other than that’s what popular. I get that sex sells, but that’s not what I want any of my novels selling points to be.

      All of my characters, male and female, are educated, and have great careers. Most come from a two parent home, but divorce is also a topic that I touch on in my novel. I enjoy writing about relationships of all types. I must say I had some very good examples of what it takes to be a real man and woman thanks to my parents and many aunts and uncles, and countless friends of the family. I hope that readers will enjoy seeing a different side of African Americans, because we are so much more than how the media portrays us to be.

      Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment. Not all of my writing is this heavy, but I hope you won’t be a stranger, and that you’ll grace my page with your presence more often. 🙂

  2. This was absolutely beautiful and inspiring in itself. I love to read the art of expression. I don’t quite understand the dynamic of that mightier sword, pen. But it is amazing what words can change lives simply by reading them as I’m sure your words have changed that young lady’s attitude about accomplishing her goals. You are a really good woman Arriel. Truly genuine and don’t ever change that.

    Your work I can see already can move people to much needed conversation and debates about life in general. We can discuss further. I love having discussions like those of you and your collegues at work. Just wanted to show love and give back all that beautiful encouragement I see you effortlessly give out. You do inspire and that is a blessing. Blessings to you. Love, love. XoX

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