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My Brotha with the Beautiful Brown Eyes by: Gail White-Biggers

I am observant of my sisters and brothers who walk the streets of Los Angeles and are having conversations with themselves. I stop at a light on Obama and La Brea and I watch with empathy as my brother

drags his basket filled with a collection of bottles, cans, blankets, dog food, and other items that most would consider “trash.” I see his beautiful brown eyes and what is left of strength in hi

s arms. I am now talking to myself, ‘He is someone’s son.’ The light is long and long enough for me to now turn the conversation from myself to God and simply whisper, “Lord, please have mercy.” If I could count the times I have wondered about the mothers, fathers, children, nephews, nieces, lovers, and friends of those who wander around us- trapped in delusions, disorganized thinking, and hallucinations. Our brothers and sisters who wander, still collecting something to call their own while enslaved to symptoms that are tormenting. I just believe that we all have a calling to at least notice those who fight with realities that are only real to them, who obey commands from voices that do not exist, and who are hidden in spaces that their children cannot find. The man I see with his beautiful brown eyes could be a father that his children are searching to find and I see him- he walks down La Brea. How many do we pass daily while listening to our jazz, sipping on an Iced Caramel Macchiato, and just enjoying a mind that thinks with clarity about the business of the next day? We all have our chosen paths and I certainly know that our callings and passions are diverse, but shouldn’t we feel some sense of connection to those who suffer? The connection does not mean that you are required to become a clinician or physician, but will you commit to the power of pausing, noticing, and praying? Can you imagine what might emerge if we all committed to being connected to those bruised by circumstances that are beyond their ability to cope. My brother, I see you with your beautiful brown eyes and as the light turns green- I will still be praying for you.


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