Tuesday, January 30
Tuesday, January 23
Friday, January 19
As I was leaving a local convenience store this morning, I was hailed by an elderly black lady navigating with the aid of a cane slowly across the parking lot in my direction. "Do you work here sir," she asked. "No ma'am," I replied. She then began her earnest appeal for help. "I've just come from the doctor's office and I need to catch the bus back to town. I'd don't have any money..." "How much will it cost?" I inquired. "$3.00," she replied. That sounded rather expensive to me, but since I haven't ridden any sort of public transportation since I was in elementary school, I had no basis on which to refute her. I looked in my wallet and saw a single dollar bill and two five dollar bills. "Here's five," I said. Her face lit up in appreciation and she invoked God's blessings on me for being so generous. She then proceeded to walk slowly across the street toward another convenience store...not toward the bus stop. As she enter the store my thoughts turned to misgiving. "Had my wish to be of help produced generosity that was unwarranted? Had she lied to me? Had I been taken advantage of? " Maybe...maybe not. I decided that even though I gave her more money than she requested, perhaps she had even greater needs than my five dollars would begin to meet. "I did what I did and I'll let God determine the best outcome," I decided. Normally that would be the end of the story. A good deed delivered and then forgotten.
Before returning to my office, my stomach reminded me that I was hungry. I decided to stop by my favorite burger establishment and pick up a little lunch. Remembering that I had somewhat depleted my available cash, I determined that I would also have to modify my usual "large whatever." I opted for a fish sandwich and a small fry, knowing that I'd have just enough money to cover the order. When the food was placed in my "to go" bag, I discovered that my order of fries was missing. I looked on the sales ticket and also noticed that the fries had not been included. I mentioned to the counter attendant that I'd like a small order of fries and that I'd be happy to pay the difference. He turned, filled up a large container of fries, handed them to me and said, "Don't worry 'bout it."
Coincidence? Good fortune? Perhaps. After all it was only an order of french fries that didn't come anywhere close to costing $5.oo. Still, even if the secular world would suggest that I was being a sentimental dupe for believing such "crap-trap," I am convinced that God was letting me know that my previous gesture of "good will" toward the lady I encountered in the parking lot had not gone unnoticed and was appreciated. I like french fries... and I'm glad God does too!
Thursday, January 18
Wednesday, January 17
Monday, January 15
for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever
conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not
allow our creative process to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again
we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force."
Dr. King's plea for civil restraint in the face of generations of institutional shackles, concluded with the memorable words oft quoted down through the years.
"When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and hamlet,
from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all
God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and
Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing the words of the old Negro spiritual,
'Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty...Free at Last!'"
Dr. King's impassioned vision for freedom and equality for all citizens has in so many ways been realized. But this quest is not at an end, not should it ever be. There are still minds to be changed and hearts to be won if Dr. King's dream is to forever be a living and on-going reality. It must live on in each person who believes that in God's eyes each person is precious and has immeasurable worth. We each must carry forth the torch of freedom and equality so that every child born and yet to be born shall thrive in this nation that is deliberately blind to physical differences and "judges not by the color of their skin but the content on their character."
Let that be America's creed...in testimony and in deed.
Friday, January 12
Thursday, January 11
A very successful businessman had invited, as was his custom, several of his junior executives and their wives to spend as part of his annual Christmas celebrations a weekend at his country estate. The opulence was breath-taking and was equally complimented by the warm and inviting hospitality of the owner. The weekend festivities included a visit to one of the exclusive restaurants in the near by town, which had been reserved exclusively for the chief executive and his guests. All expenses were to be underwritten in full by the executive, telling each couple that no meal or beverage was to be excluded as perhaps being too expensive. The entourage was chauffeured to the restaurant in a fleet of sleek limousines. Upon arriving at the appointed destination, the executive exited from the lead car and proceeded to open the door for each car as it came to a stop at the curb, personally assisting each guest to his side. As the last couple collected their belongings and began to walk towards the restaurant's entrance, they noticed their host, who was a few steps ahead of them, bend down and pick up what appeared to be a shiny object from the ground. The young wife of the last couple was curious as to the identity of the object that the senior executive was turning over and over in his hands and gazing upon intently.