I had been driving in tandem with a large RV that was pulling a car. We had a nice rhythm going as we navigated the inclines and steep grades through the Smokey Mountains. Eventually, I changed lanes and prepared to pass, when I noticed a rainbow sticker on the back of the RV. My first thought was, cool...family out on a little cross-country vacation.
Then I noticed the universal symbol for "NO" superimposed over the rainbow.
It felt like I had been sucker-punched in the stomach and the joy and euphoria I had been feeling was blotted out in an instant. I wondered what message they hoped to convey.
Anti-Rainbow Bumper Stickers?
No Gays Allowed in their RV?
My guess is they want the world void of homosexuals. The next impulse I had was to follow them until they stopped for a break and engage them in a friendly conversation, invite them to my communion table laid with wine and bread and summer's warm, sweet fruit, I would read Mary Oliver's Wild Geese aloud to them:
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
I would look in their eyes and let them look in mine. I would speak softly to their wounded, frightened places. I would take them by the hand, lead them to my car and point to the bumper sticker that reads:
Love One Another