I was waiting in line at a fast food restaurant at lunch today when the man beside me said, “It sure is a beautiful day out there.” Surely it was. Cloudless blue sky. Sun. Light breeze. Slightly warmer than frigid.
He went on to say that he was from a Midwestern state and would be moving here this summer. He was visiting, looking for farmland to purchase. “Oh, what kind of farm?” I asked. “Crops, cattle, horses?” He told me that he was a ‘general’ farmer – a little bit of everything. He’s farmed for years and his family owns a farm outside of a city in the state just north of here, about an hour or so away. I’m quite familiar with that area. It’s one of my favorite places to visit and I told him so.
This is where a seemingly innocent, friendly conversation went sour.
“Whole place is going to hell,” he growled. “Damn tree-hugging, homosexual-loving, pagan, ultra-liberals are taking the place over.”
You could have knocked me over with a feather. How had such a pleasant conversation turned so ugly in just a few seconds? Yes, this city is different from most. It’s a bit Bohemian, very diverse, very green, very accepting, and very artsy. That’s why I love it. Do I stick out like a sore thumb when I walk the streets of their downtown? Probably. Still, I love it.
I was momentarily speechless. That’s probably not a bad thing since nothing I could ever say would make a difference to someone like this. I silently thanked God that my order came up at about that time.
“You’ll have a hard time finding another place that displays God’s beauty as well,” I said quietly as I walked away, “but good luck.”