Last night, I knew we had to pick up Nicole. “What you do unto the least of these, the least of these, the least of these…” I called her and told her it was too far and we had too much to do before Ragamuffins. I wanted to go around and knock on freshmen’s dorm before the group. Truely, I didn’t want to do anything for Jesus or for the least of these. I was extremely tired and wanted to curl up in my bed and cry. I don’t really know what for, but it wasn’t giving time. I knew I couldn’t give anything. Jessica overruled me and called Nicole and told her we’d be there in 15 minutes. We got lost and drove up and down packed run over suburban streets. Hispanics and African Americans looked at us with a wary eye as we wandered around her neighborhood. We picked Nicole up in the new place she’s “staying”. Black people in Athens seem to never “live” anywhere – they’re always just “staying.” Makes sense, considering this is Nicole’s third home in two years. I said a polite hello and then stayed somber and silent. Jessica did most of the talking. Suddenly Nicole sensed my attitude and started trying to figure out my mood, “What’ s wrong with my baby? Why are you quiet? You tired? Katie, you need to go to sleep…” I gave in to her care, and let myself be worried after. She took up my slack and started leading the conversation; telling us about school, about life and asking us about our schoolwork.
That night as we drove her home I got in the backseat and laid my head in her lap. I knew I needed to be near her, but there was nothing in my heart to share. She rubbed my hair and sang in a shrill and raspy voice, “I never would have made it, I never would have made without you, I would have lost it all” I laid against her big belly and felt completely safe as the wind was split by the windows and rushed across the side of the car. This girl who I have prayed for and taught for two years maternally calmed me down with her empathy and honey brown eyes. I realized that love isn’t always about giving away. Sometimes the deepest love lets others take care of you. Against her round belly, I finally calmed down. After we dropped her off, I drove to Sonic and got an applejuice box. Nicole taught me a long time ago, “that nothing calms you down like apple juice.” I sat in the car about to embark on writing two papers and finally felt at peace. I always forget. The least of these give back. No one knows how to love like the least of these.