No Mistake

Excerpt from Chapter 3 - Divine Intervention, Part 1 ("Perfect")

          With her granddaughter in her arms, Nana walks to the bed and sits down, putting Abena on her lap.  Abena rests her head on Nana’s shoulder.

          “So, how’s my sweet lil’ Chocolate Drop?”

          Abena buries her face into her grandmother’s neck.  No reply.  Nana tries again to get her talking.

          “What’s wrong?  Cat’s got your tongue?”

          Abena doesn’t know Dad told Nana what happened.  So instead of trying to get Abena to talk, Nana decides to tell Abena a story about herself when she was a child.

          “You know what?  I had a really good time at church this morning.  Can I tell you what happened?”

          Nana can feel Abena nod “yes,” so she continues.

          “Well, the subject of Pastor’s sermon was ‘God Don’t Make No Mistakes.’  Pastor reminded the congregation everything God makes is good and perfect and beautiful on its own.  And that God made us all unique, so that we can do God’s good will in our own unique way.  And throughout the sermon Pastor kept saying, ‘God don’t make no mistakes.’

          “And while Pastor was preachin’, it made me remember a time when I thought God had made a mistake on me; because my skin is dark, my nose round instead of pointed, and my hair isn’t straight like White folk.  Would you believe, when I was a little girl -- just like you -- I wanted to be a little White girl?  I wanted a straight nose, straight hair, and light skin!  My classmates always called me names and treated me bad because I was dark-skinned.  And usually, it wasn’t White people calling me names.  It was my own people.  Black people, just like me!

          “I remember coming home crying one day, because some mean ol’ boys had chased me home chanting ‘Dorothy the black monkey!  Dorothy the black monkey!’  I told Mama I wanted to be White because of what happened, and she told me to stop crying and listen.  And what my mama told me was exactly what Pastor preached today at church!  Mama asked me, ‘You mean to tell me God make a mistake when he made you this way?’

          “I couldn’t even answer.  I just stood there, feeling silly.  Then Mama said, ‘God made your skin dark and your hair nappy for a real good reason; because it is perfect.  It is perfect for you, and everybody like you.  And the way he made other people is perfect for them.  But it’s a crazy world.  Everybody wants to be somebody else.  We never stop to appreciate what makes each of us special.  We’re all perfect -- exactly as we are!’"

No Mistake: Journey to Self Acceptance
© 2007 Chandra Y. Washington  
All Rights Reserved

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