julia’s heart

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

the country today is very divided but sometimes we have more in common than we ever realize.

The country seems more divided than ever. Basic freedoms seem to only be for those who agree with the ‘politically correct’. Anybody who doesn’t share these same opinions fear being called racist, sexist, homophobe or at least that is the way that Julia sees it. She is a 24 year old, white, Christian conservative. She works as a waitress at a local restaurant where most of her coworkers are in her age group. Unfortunately for Julia this means that most of them are liberal atheists and if she were to share her feelings she would be ostracized. All of her friends attend protests screaming about racial and gender oppression and the horror of ‘white privilege’.  Julia doesn’t attend any protests. She doesn’t march. She doesn’t blog or post on social media. The only political activity in which Julia partakes is voting. She always prays for healing for the country and for all people to be judged by the content of their character with no preconceived ideas of what type of person they are based on any physical traits.
Julia’s mother died when she was a young girl but her faith got her through it and she believes God will heal the world. Her dad and brother, although proud of Julia for being so strong in her faith, worry that her naivety will lead to her being hurt, maybe not physically, but rather emotionally.

Angela would agree with Julia on the state of the country but having been followed in stores and called derogatory names by groups of white people even though she is a successful attorney who put herself through college, Angela believes change must be demanded. She doesn’t agree with violent protests but does attend peaceful protests where she and other minorities have been forced to physically defend themselves against white supremacists calling for all blacks to be ‘shipped back to Africa’.  Without social unrest nothing will change and there will be no equality for all. Angela’s mother has begged her to never give up on the dream of achieving real equality.  She wants her granddaughter to finally know, and have the world reaffirm, that being black does not make her inferior to anybody and that she is an important member of American society with much to contribute. Angela has promised her mother she won’t ever give up and this promise seems more important than any other promise she has ever made  because her mother is running out of time to receive a new heart in order to save her life.

Julia and Angela do not know one another and appear to be complete opposites. They one day find themselves standing off against one another. Julia decided to attend a free speech rally. This would be her first ever rally but she did not consider it a political rally because free speech is s freedom to be shared by all – conservatives and liberals. However Angela, and many other, believed that this ‘free speech’ rally was just a cover for what was truly a white supremacist rally. Thus Julia and Angela found themselves as ‘enemies’ – enemies who know nothing about one another. Enemies who never listened to the other to try to understand their perspective and reasoning for being there. Angela assumes Julia is a white supremacist who hates her for the color of her skin. Julia is shocked by the counter protest and believes that they want to shut down free speech for anybody who doesn’t agree with them. Luckily, although a lot of screaming and insults were exchanged, there was no violence. Both sides disperse as the rally ends.

Driving home that night Julia begins to silently cry wondering why people assume she hates anybody and for such a ridiculous reason as the color of their skin. She prays to God again to please change the heart of at least one person who can then spread that message to all their friends and start a change that can grow and change the world. Julia reaches over to the glovebox to get the Kleenex that she has in there. She took her eyes off the road for just one second but in that second a deer dashed in front of her car. There was no time to break. The impact forced the deer onto the hood of the car and through the windshield. Julia was still alive but in critical condition. Her father and brother rushed to the hospital to be by her side. They stayed there for 3 days and nights making sure Julia was never alone. Unfortunately, Julia’s injuries were too severe and she passed with her family by her side.

Angela drove home from the rally proud to have stood up for equality for all. She was leading by example and hoped her mother and daughter would be proud. The next day she and her daughter visited her mother in the hospital and she told them both about the protest. They all agreed that people were finally starting to listen. They had hope things would finally change and real equality would be realized.

A few days later, while Angela was at work, she received a call from the hospital. A heart was available for her mother. Surgery would be performed right away. Angela rushed to the hospital and sat in the waiting room praying for her mother to make it through surgery. She hadn’t prayed in years. She had lost faith after seeing so many young black men shot or arrested, young black women forced onto government assistance because of no real options, and the reaction of those in authority towards blacks no matter their dress, attitude or behavior. They were always looked at with suspicion and it had made Angela angry with God. But in this moment, she needed him and he answered. Her mother made it out of surgery and would recover to lead a full long life.

Over the next year Angela continued to attend rallies and protests. As her mom healed and became stronger she started attending with Angela. And even Angela’s daughter was attending ones which Angela did not foresee becoming anything other than peaceful. They also saw more and more people, of all races, joining their cause to fight for real equality for all. And on top of all of that, Angela had renewed her relationship with God.

About 16 months after the rally which found Angela and Julia on opposite sites, Angela went to the mailbox and found a letter from an address she did not recognize. She opened it up and began reading. She soon realized that it was from the heart donor’s father and brother. They were glad that out of Julia’s death another life was saved. They knew Julia would be happy too. They just wanted to share who Julia was as a person – her kindness and love for God and all people. They shared how she prayed for healing in the world and understanding of others. As Angela read the letter she thought how much she and her family would have loved Julia and how much they had in common. She was so appreciative of that letter. As she finished reading it, with tears forming in her eyes, she flipped the envelope over and a picture fell out. It was a picture of Julia. Angela immediately recognized her from the rally. She was the young woman Angela called a white supremacist. She was the woman who Angela cut off when she tried to tell her that she wasn’t a racist but was just there to support free speech for all. This young woman must have died soon after that rally and her heart now beat  Angela’s mother’s chest. Angela finally saw how God had used Julia to change her heart. He had shown her that we have more in common than all our differences and that we really need to start listening to one another.

Angela started an after school program that she called Julia’s heart where she brought kids together from different races, backgrounds, etc. Although the group would have serious conversations, it was more than that. They spent time with one another, they volunteered together, they got to see everything they had in common and learn that their differences were not important. We all just need to help one another and look out for our fellow man regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or anything else that separates us. 

Julia’s prayer was answered and the impact continued to grow each and ever day.

Submitted: November 22, 2017

© Copyright 2022 amelia foster. All rights reserved.

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