Friday, July 27, 2018

Soon and Very Soon

Nearing the end of the service Reverend Williams seemed to be enraptured. He said, “Someday King Jesus is going to return to this old earth and make all things right and peace shall reign.” No sooner had those words left his mouth, Mrs. Williams began playing, “Soon and very soon we are going to see the King, Soon and very soon we are going to see the King.” Most of the folks in the gathering didn’t know the song, but they sure enjoyed Reverend Williams singing. He was as joyous as they had ever heard him.

 He had no sooner finished that song when Mrs. Williams went right into, “Some glad morning when this life is over, I’ll fly away.”  Most of the folks knew that song, and they began singing, clapping and smiling. Al was smiling as he watched his friends, some dressed in rags, unshaven, unwashed, and uncaring about the world outside Agape Station. And he thought, “How great it would have been to witness this wonderful Godly black preacher with his rural congregation.”

It took a few minutes for things to settle down in that converted grocery store. The blessing and glory of God lingered for some time. Even then, Al was looking around at the gathering and most were still smiling and enjoying the afterglow. With a wave of his hand Reverend Williams got the attention of the folks and brought the focus back to the front of the hall. He said, “Folks, I need your attention. Now listen up. Not that long ago the Lord brought a man to us, into our life and into the lives of all of you. Al, come on up here.”

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Knowing What is Right

Al asked Reverend Williams, “How do I know what the right thing to do is? How do I know the voice of God?”  Reverend Williams replied, “At times it is hard to understand the voice of God. Some people look for signs from God. Other people think God will openly talk to them. I have found that when I look at the circumstances that surround a situation and pray earnestly about the options the Lord has a way of giving me light.”

Shifting his position, Reverend Williams’ continued, “Now, Al, take this place. We’ve told you about Joey wanting to have a place of love and redemption. It was just days after we buried him it was plain to me and the Mrs. what we were supposed to do. I was happy being a pastor in the country. I loved the folks and most of them loved me.” At that point he chuckled and continued, “You see son, in our heart we knew that this was the right thing to do.”

Al was focused on the words of wisdom coming from a Godly man who had witnessed the blending of faith and real life decisions. Reverend Williams continued, “You will do the right thing if, you clearly look into your heart, understand your passion, and then the direction you sense, is the right thing. Your sense of the right thing is the right thing. Commit it to God, He cares for you and he has brought you this far. He is not going to leave you alone and if you make a mistake, big deal, every person who does something makes a mistake. The only person who never makes a mistake is the lazy slug that does nothing.”

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Pain and Praying

 He looked at her and said, “I was going to be a dad. Sarah was gonna have a baby but thought it best to end the pregnancy. She told me she wasn’t ready to be a mother.” As the words come out of Al’s mouth Mrs. Williams seemed to bear the words on her shoulders. She began to slump, with her head bowed low as if to pray.

Al heard her praying, it was not like other times. This time as she prayed it was as if she was in a great struggle. As if she was battling a great hidden force, a force that even claimed her right to pray.  “Precious Father,” she said, “Giver of life, Author of creation, a great evil is befalling our land. You just heard your son talk of the life he fathered being blown out like a candle. I fear our land is coming to the edge of a great cliff and if we take another step, we are lost. How can we be at the place where we say it is fine, our right, to kill a precious life within us? Father, please forgive Sarah for such a decision. I know her mind has been blinded by the spiritual influences of selfishness and ignorance. I know she wouldn’t have destroyed her child if she had only known that her baby was a gift. Dear Father, forgive her.”

            Al listened as she was still praying. Now her voice was whispered and hardly able to be heard. Sitting close to her he placed his arm around her shoulder as if to support her in her struggle with angelic and demonic forces. She continued to pray for quite some time. When she finally looked up at Al, she looked tired and drained. Her face was wet with tears and she hesitated to talk. “Dear Al,” she said, “I am so afraid for our land. We tell children they can’t pray in school, that it isn’t right to talk about God in public. And, now our country is going to allow the killing of innocent babies.”

In her whispered voice, she continued, “Mark my words, it won’t be months from now and killing the innocent unborn will be the law of the land. I have heard and listened to young women who don’t want to be tied down. I talked with women who have been victims of rape and abuse and my heart breaks for them. I ask them to bring their child into the world and give her child as a gift to a childless couple. They tell me that it is a wonderful idea but that I don’t understand. I am not going to judge Sarah for what she did, that is over and past. Let’s remember that the Good Lord is the giver of all life.”

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Al is in Good Hands

The sun was just beginning to break through the brick and steel forest as Mrs. Williams was gazing out the window. With her back to Al, his stirring caught her off-guard. By the time he opened his eyes the gentle saint was smiling at him.  Holding his hand, with IV needles and bandages, she bent over the bed and kissed him on the forehead. She said, “My husband will be right back, he has to have his morning coffee.”  

Clearing his throat, Al asked, “Do you suppose he will bring me back a cup?” Still holding his hand she chuckled just a bit. A small tear appeared in the corner of her eye after a few seconds it ran down her cheek. “Dear Al,” she said, “God has answered our prayers.”

            A moment after she finished her words Reverend Williams came back into the room. Standing at the foot of Al’s bed he was a pretty imposing figure. He stood over six feet tall and had the frame of an athlete. Al looked at him and asked, “Where is my coffee?”  Reverend Williams was quick with his reply, “I already drank yours.”  Al smiled at his friend as Mrs.Williams continued to hold his bandaged hand.

 “So,” Al said, “What’s the verdict? When am I getting out of here?” Reverend Williams chuckled and said, “Well it is gonna take a couple of days. We’ll be taking you to our house. I think you are going to need of some tender loving care.” When he said that he glanced over at his wife and they both smiled.