Cosby

When I heard that he was arrested, that he was made to do the perp walk; handcuffed – attorney on one side and the police on the other, paraded through the throngs of reporters and amidst cameras and cell phones thrust in his direction. He, used to this walk in pride, now walks it proudly in pain. In pain because, as an intelligent man he realizes that his chickens have come home to roost. His chickens now sit in a coop of his design constructed by his own actions. His chickens now roost and lay the eggs that symbolize a new creation. A creation that no longer resembles its beginnings.

My heart hurt because he is a black man.  I didn’t want to believe it, I really didn’t. I wanted to think that he was somehow different and couldn’t be overwhelmed with the power of the pussy, the power of the power that so many men of power succumb to. As a black man this crime becomes our crime. All black folks are judged by the actions of all black folks when their actions are negative. We are not judged however when those black folks actions are positive. When they are positive it is seen as an anomoly. It’s like when you can read and when you are black, other folks imagine that you had something extraordinary happen to you that is so different from other black folks and that is why you can read. Like being able to read is an exception rather than the rule. Being able to rationalize and think a thought is seen as something unusual for black folks to do, so therefore we are not all judged to be a people who are able to read well. We are judged still as if we are inadeguate and this one black soul who can read is an exception. What kind of crap is that. We all have the same weaknesses and the same strengths in different degrees.

Cosby was portrayed as someone who was different and he was. He was different in that he was able to cast a spell in anyone in his experience zone, to believe that he was a man worthy of being in his presence. He was on his own personal soapbox talking about the young kids of today, talking about the sagging pants and the children out of wedlock and yet while he talked about his own people,  he was hiding that he in fact was a child molester. Someone who took advantage of young girls who foolishly believed that Mr. Cosby was going to help them in their careers. Instead he ruined them, he took their confidence and played with their bodies, they were ashamed and embarassed and confused. They wanted not to believe that this great man could not have possibly molested them and yet they knew deep down on their own insides that in fact he was a molestor. How must it have felt all of those years to see all of the accolades that were bestowed on him and sink deeper and deeper into themselves and into their shell. What did their sex lives look like, how many other men abused their bodies for the sake of making them better. For helping them to be a success, they allowed a grown man to destroy the sacrednees of their trust.  Cosby may not have abused all of the 50+ girls but he did abuse some. There may be some that just want to be a part of the story; some, but not all. The pendulum has swing wide and the truth has come out. Or at least what we think is the truth. I wish that it would go away and we could wake up anew, this ugly past about Cosby is the past.  I wish that whatever the truth is of these times, that Cosby understands that this is one of those things that he may not be able to come back from unless he does full contrition. The crack in the image has spread wide and it appears that it will stay with us the way OJ’s crime has stayed. It will become part of a study on the toll that power can impress on the morality of the spirit.

New Year – 2016

Well it’s here, another year and another chance to get it right. To do the things that we have always wanted to do better and longer. A time to think and reflect on the year before and make whatever mistakes we learned lessons that propel us to be better. A time to begin to understand that you cannot eat whatever you want all of the time and not have to pay for it in being overweight and to exhibit the conditions that cause aches and pains in your joints. A time to evaluate the life that you have been living last year and see of you want to make a change and are you willing to do the things necessary to make the change. Life comes and goes and the older we become the faster life comes and goes.  It comes faster and faster with every passing year and as the tock clicks the evaluation of past behaviors come to the forefront and have to be dealt with and managed.  The new year brings hope which characterizes for me the chance to change.

Kids

They are all so different, each one born and created by the Creator as unique. We spend countless early morning hours cradling them and nursing them and watching them and putting our hands in front of their noses to make sure they are still breathing – uniquely ours forever and ever. As we remember those early days, those beginnings of a life that we created we miss them in a way that one misses a good ooey gooey chocolate cake overly saturated with frosting. The cake, so delicious that you can hardly contain your excitement and feeling a little sad about not enjoying the flavor, the taste of each chocolate ooey gooeyness on my tongue – eating way too fast. Our children are to be savored; other children’s children are to be savored. As our child’s first teacher we have to combine patience with the teaching.

As I was directing the Christmas Play I find that there is one child in particular that irritates me to no end. A child who appears to have a learning disability and yet who manages to continuously pick on the other kids, to not learn lines and to not be so easy on the eye or the nostrils. I find that I have to talk myself down from being irritated and yet I am not doing such a great job. My husband reminded me of that and how far he has come as it relates to his relationships and actions with our kids and that I have to take a good look and realize that I am a part of this childs’ unease. I know that when I correct her in front of people she is embarrassed and yet I do it anyway.  I have said the lines slowly and deliberately and yet when she repeats them she does not repeat what I said.  I then do what other folks do when talking to someone of another language – talk louder as if that is gonna help them or this child to want to learn anything from me. I am taking a good look at myself to I have to practice what I preach. There is something to be said for checking yourself when you have been checked. To take a look at what you know to be the right way to act and understand that that is not how I act. I need to act towards her in the manner that I want any adult to interact with my children. To accept them for where they are and to patiently guide her towards her best performance.

 

 

Thanks and Giving

Thanks and giving. Every year this time comes around and what begins to be seen on televisions and in stores are turkeys, pilgrims, soup lines, homeless shelters, auburn colors, pumpkin, sweet potato pie and family gatherings.  Each of these images make us feel happy and responsible. They make us think about things we are grateful for and things that we should be doing. The giving part of the phrase should make us wonder what can we do to make a contribution to someone else’s life.  And yet as the day comes and goes, we see so many of use do nothing for anyone else. We talk a lot about what we as a society can do and yet we do nothing. I am as guilty as the next person. We get so caught up in our selves that we have no room in our teeny tiny brains to include giving in action. We look and see what other people are doing and we smile or cry and are grateful for their gift.

I didn’t watch or listen to any news the past few days. I was in my own circle of nirvana with my besties at a home nestled on a narrow street near a park. Laughing and talking and crying and fussing about each of our different experiences and ideas of what should and should not be done – enjoying each emotion to my ultimate.  I didn’t know that today there were people across the country who stood for the right thing, making sure that anyone who spent money on this day, had to hear their pain and hurt over yet another loss of a black man who wasn’t a real threat to anyone but himself. These people decided to march and to let other folks see their passion and their reason for the pain and at least empathize for a few hours of being inconvenienced; not allowed to shop in peace.  I admire these people and their commitment. Some days I think I am them and other days I realize that it is all in my mind.  As much as I think I would be a great activist I also know that I really lack that thing necessary to really do what is necessary. What I think is necessary is the ability to maintain focus, to understand that in the struggle the sacrifice of being inconvenienced and inconveniencing others is necessary, that the activist must not only be willing to go to jail, be beaten and nowadays tased and shot, that person must also be willing to die for their passion. I think how many people have given up their lives for an idea, a dream and image of what is possible for the future.  So as we continue to be thankful for what we have we also need to be thankful to those who have a little more intestinal fortitude to act out their giving in their sacrifice.

 

 

Numbers 22 – the talking ass

I was listening to Creflo Dollar as I was on my way to work last week and he was talking about an ass that was talking to Balaam. What made me stop and listen was that Creflo said first of all let’s get this right – Balaam is talking to an ass and secondly the ass is talking back.  My first thought after that was boy how often have we done that? Spent so much time talking to people who were asses. People who were totally not capable of understanding or relating to you as you are and yet we insist on talking to them. This thought made me really listen to him. He spoke of Numbers 22 and Balaam and I knew that this was a lesson that I had to understand. That was last week. Today I heard a message about nothing in particular. It was a hodge podge of scripture passages that were biblical however they were being delivered by a person that I don’t quite frankly understand. A kind person who loves the Lord and yet one whose perspective on “things” has always been somewhat off center – at least off center to me. I thought of Balaam’s ass. I began to disengage from the sermon and concentrate on my Christmas Play. During his message I would try to pull myself back and yet I couldn’t or didn’t want to take the time to be present in the sanctuary; not liking what was being spoken. However as I type I know deep down on the inside it really doesn’t matter what I think, there is a message for each and every one of us in life. Even when the message comes to us from an ass, there is a message if in the inspiration of the message, the messenger was God sent.

Balaam’s father, Beor  had the ability to prophecy. Balaam was thought to posses this gift and yet it is revealed through this passage and those that follow that he didn’t. He understood what the gift was, “he possessed many just ideas of the true God. He calls Him “the Lord my God,”  and yet he seems to have been only an enchanter and false prophet, like many in the times of the kings of Israel, until he came in collision with the people of God. In this transaction he was made a bearer, against his own will, of the sublime messages of Jehovah; yet his heart remained unchanged” (biblehub)

Balak the son of the king of Moab, Zippor, called for his servants to bring Balaam to him so that he could curse the people that he was trying to kill. Balaam welcomed the servants to his home and told them that they could wait and if the Lord told him to go he would however if the Lord told him not to go, he wouldn’t. The servants spent the night and that morning Balaam said to the servants that the Lord told me not to curse these people because they are blessed. The servants left and went back to Balak and told him what Balaam said and then the king sent some more servants that were of a higher standing. When they came they offered Balaam money. Balaam them began to waffle a little. He told them even if you offered me silver and gold, I am not going to curse the people for you; however stay overnight and we will see what the Lord will say to me.

Here is when the Lord told Balaam ok you go with them, but don’t say anything.  Then God got mad after he had a chance to think about it, and as Balaam was riding on his donkey, the one he had had for years, the ass stopped moving. Balaam beat the ass because he stopped walking, then the ass moved a little and then stopped again, Balaam beat the ass again.  The  last time he was beaten the donkey fell flat underneath Balaam’s weight and asked him why are you beating me? I haven’t done anything to you and haven’t you known me to be faithful all of these years? I stopped because I saw the angel of the Lord and then Balaam’s eyes were opened up and he saw the angel.  Often times when the Lord begins to send messengers or situations to stop us from going somewhere and moving in a direction we often times get angry with the interference.  We get mad and begin to beat the messenger instead of slowing down and thinking what is wrong here? Is there something I need to learn or be taught? Why is this barrier in my way? It could be that God has sent his angel with the sword outstretched to not only fight your battle but to help you to fight your battle when you are weak. Balaam was told to not go with the servants of Balak and yet he ended up wanting to go deep down inside. He wanted to go because even though he knew the messages that the Lord had given him, his desire to have monetary or worldly things outweighed his love of God.

There are so many messages and messengers that our God, our heavenly father gives us. We need to heed the first message and to wait. That is hard to do. If we don’t wait we find ourselves talking to ourselves and we become our own personal donkeys or to keep it real – we become the ass that we talk to. A fool can be described as someone who listens to his own countenance.  I owe myself and the minister an apology…  I couldn’t listen because I quite frankly didn’t want to. My own personal feelings about the messenger was clouded and out of place.

As I thought,  the angel of the Lord stood before my children today to protect them, to jeep from from coming to the service this morning so that I would have no distractions, thereby allowing me the reflective necessary time for a conversation – a connection with my God.  Balaam didn’t have a happy ending, he soon will be killed for his lack of active faithful and willingness to abide by the will of the Lord,  and yet on his journey he thought he was espousing the tenants of Christianity.   I don’t want to continue to speak to the ass in me.  I am learning to continue to let God speak and train me how to listen.

Psalm 119:105

Psalm 119:105  King James Version (KJV)

105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. 

I found out that this Psalm is the longest one in the Bible and it is a prayer for those who delight and live for the Lord. Here we are seeking to be perfect like Him.  The first time I read this I just read it and it didn’t mean anything.  It wasn’t until years later when the Lord began to reveal things to me a little bit at a time that I began to understand  how powerful these 14 words were. 

The lamp unto my feet simply meant that if I continue to walk in the path that the Lord has given me I will be walking in the light.  God has many symbolic expressions of Him and one is that He is the Light.  Taking the path that He has set before us requires that we follow the light – Him. It means that regardless of what we may think we must always act not on our thoughts but on the thoughts that he has given us.   This internal guide that the light provides should begin to manifest itself in decisions that are discerned and not just known.  A discernment is that feeling on the inside of our bones, our marrow, our core that tells us that this thing that we want to do is the path that we should go on versus the path that we shouldn’t. This knowing requires that we genuinely spend time in listening to our God so that when he speaks in that still small voice in our belly that we know that we know that we know that He is guiding our next steps and not us. We need to get out of our own way so that we can see the light on our feet and know that the direction that we are currently walking is the right way.

When I drive on the back roads on my way home at night, I can only see so far with my head lights. I can only see a little bit at a time; however when I activate the high beams I can see much further down the road. I can see a little bit of what is on the both sides of the road; scanning to make sure that if some animal  jumps out, I will see it in time.  And I can react and not kill or hurt the animal or myself, I am able to swerve or slow down or stop and avoid the collision. That is how we are to walk in the light of the Lord. The lamp we hold before us lit and on bright outstretched, reveals the glory as well as the enemies. We need to be able to hold that lamp out, see the enemy and keep on stepping.  Knowing that as we drive or walk and follow His will and His word we have Him to guide us and protect us.

 

 

Growing Up

As we age we tend to say that we are getting old. Instead of saying that we are growing up.  We reserve those two words for children and in my brain I ask why.  As we go through each second of our lives we are growing. Each experience and each interaction should evoke a firing of our neurons which create a spark of electricity that propels us into growth.  Each day we should wake up excited that we have breathed yet another breath, we should marvel that we can put our feet flat on the floor and walk without falling or stumbling, we should jump for joy that our eyes and our ears function just like they did when we closed them. We should inhale and thank the almighty. We should  be amazed when we see the hummingbird flitting around in a manner that cannot be explained and equally in awe of the beauty of the warthog who at first glance has no purpose. All of what we see and what we do, should elicit a burning desire to want to do and see more. We should always be searching for that next best thing. We should constantly be growing up because when we cease to grow we cease to exist. I like growing up because it lets me know that I am not done yet.

Retiring at the time that is right for me will be the time that is right for my children and my God. Then I will be growing into the next phase of my super fantastic and blessed life.  I breathe.

Killings on Camera

I saw the tape where the police tased the man in front of the emergency room of a hospital. They were taking him to the hospital because he was unruly at the apartment complex where he resides.  They were taking to the hospital for an evaluation. He was obviously suffering from some kind of mental imbalance. So, he kicked the window out of the back door of the police car where he was handcuffed and he ran out of the car trying to get into the hospital. The doors to the hospital would not open and there is where he fell during the tazing. After he was tased by 3 police officers, he was picked up and put back into the police car and tased in the shoulder again. Then he was taken to the police station. An hour later he was brought back to the hospital in an ambulance. He had died. And the police were not arrested or charged with murder.  As I watched I was cringing. I cried and shook my head. This wasn’t the first time and it won’t  be the last. There was another man choked to death on camera by police officers, there was a little boy shot by 2 police officers who died in the hospital, there was the boy shot to death in the middle of the street, there was a young man shot to death in Walmart, there was a man shot running away from police from a traffic stop and there have been and will be more. These boys and men that were killed, were all black and were killed by police officers. Not one of the officers has been charged and quite naturally no charge, no trial and no conviction.

There has been such a push for body camera’s so that the public can see what the police are doing while they are on duty and now that we have them, I say what difference does it make.  There is no justice for the dead and for the community that has had to withstand pain and indifference all of these years. The community is the black community. The community that is told every single day that their lives don’t matter. Their black lives don’t matter.  It’s no longer just enough to tell your son to be polite, don’t talk back, keep your hand on the steering wheel, tell the officer what you are planning to do, now my thing is to also tell him to make sure you drive the speed limit and if you are stopped by the police do all of those things I have said and call me, if you can.  Don’t talk to the police or anyone if they take you into custody. When you get into custody call me and don’t talk to anyone.

I have always prayed every day for my children.  However the last few years, I have added for the Lord to keep a hedge of protection around them. There really is nothing else that a parent can do other than pray. In these times when our children appear to be dispensable the Lord is and will always be the only way.

Hello

Its been awhile.  Today is Sunday. The day that I have grown to look forward to every week. It is the day when I get to go to the place where I find comfort. My church. Today the minister spoke about the thorn in David side. In the KJV version David in 2 Corinthians 12 speaks about the visions and revelations that he has seen and how grateful he has been to God for allowing him to be able to see and understand things. He wasn’t boasting however just t make sure God puts a thorn in his side. David asks God to remove it and he doesn’t basically saying my Grace is sufficient. The Lord adds that if you can praise me when all things are good you should praise me when they are not.  David says ok.  The New Living Translation version is a little easier to read and it says the same thing however more straightforward.

12 This boasting will do no good, but I must go on. I will reluctantly tell about visions and revelations from the Lord. I[a] was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows. Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know that I was caught up[b] to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.

That experience is worth boasting about, but I’m not going to do it. I will boast only about my weaknesses. If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

It got me to thinking.

The minister then reminded us about how while Jesus hung from the cross he asked God, his father to take this cup from me. God didn’t.  Jesus then said your will be done.

Since April of this year, I have been absent. Absent because of my own personal thorns. Realities of being a wife and caregiver and mother bear and primary wage earner has been thorny. The Lord has given me the ability to see and hear Him and to understand things that are happening to me as necessary for my growth. I understand that things will get better and yet I wish it would happen faster. The pain has been bearable. The realization that this is what life will be is disheartening because it isn’t the way I wanted it to be. However it isn’t too terrible, just not the way I want it to be.

I began writing this blog as a journey to become a writer and retire at 55. I have had to move my timeline for retirement back an additional 5 years.

I have, with the help of the Lord and some amazing friends and sister, been able to understand that wherever I am they will love me and when I move they will move also.  I have to praise God in the good times and in the bad times.  Thorny or not I know that I know God has ALWAYS had my back and my front. Amen .

Experiences

Experiences are what life is about. The longer the live, the more you have. Some good, some not so good, some bad and some okay. You will always experience something. The thing that can be hard is the going through the experience you feel as if it will never get better. It will if you stay the course.

At Easter the family and I spent our normal celebration at church followed by an Easter egg hunt and dinner at my aunt and uncles home. A place that I called home over 25 years ago.  During this time, my aunt had a birthday cake for my uncle. He was turning 80 years old. My aunt and uncle have been married close to 46 years. I have never seen them hug or kiss or even hold hands. I have never heard her talk about how much she loved him and yet this day, she said she loved him. She talked about their marriage having more downs and ups and yet she wouldn’t do anything different. I smiled and yet I felt sad also. Why be married and not be happy. Or why be married and fight all of the time. I remember feeling so insignificant in my first marriage. The experience of that allowed me to know and understand what I didn’t want. However, that was all I was clear about, what I didn’t want. I should have been more clear about what I wanted in a marriage. What did I want him to be for the kids and for me.

When we don’t mitigate the damages up front we will pay the price somewhere down the line. Our experiences then become the experiences of everyone involved. As my aunt spoke of her time with her husband I knew she had to love him. She loved him because they shared the love of family,  a love of helping others and a love for entertaining. I guess that is exactly what I have. Maybe not passion but consistent handling business and knowing that as a grown married woman one of my reasons on this earth is to provide for my children. If that providing causes me to be a little uneasy at times, it is just fine with me. This experience is now a lesson learned and you can go anywhere from here but up.