Mercy Miracles, Letter To My Pastor
Your sermon yesterday triggered memories going back more than 50 years.
During the Jim Crow years in the South, I was about 12 years of age when out of nowhere it seems, a man came running toward us and kicked my friend Bob in the rear. There were about six of us walking across the edge of his property as we always did. There was a pecan tree and being the Fall Season, as we walked across the edge of his fenceless property, we picked up the pecans that had fallen. It was the most vicious hatred that I had ever encountered.
We all ran, not knowing what additional wrath would be released upon us, what additional fiery hatred would flow from this 'draganman'. I do not recall that we ever told anyone. We were old enough to understand that because we were Black and he was White, absolutely nothing constructive would be done about it.
As summer approached the following year, my father passed away. I never realized that I would be confronted by the hateful man again. This time our cow broke away and ran into his front yard. Again, this man expressed such bitter hatred as we retrieved our cow and headed toward home.
When I saw him coming this time, I was not shocked but grieved because by then he had a history with me. There was a history lesson saying to me that this man's bitterness and hatred were not about property trespassing, the pecans, or the cow, but about his bigotry and racist spirit. I recall that his young daughter seemed to come to our defense pleading with her dad to calm down.
About that time my aunt showed up and provided such a calming presence that spoke volumes to me about forgiveness, self-discipline, and the ability to shield one's self from negative experiences that would otherwise wreak havoc upon a young person like myself. But for the graciousness of God through my aunt, I could have been locked into a vicious cycle of anger that would have followed me for years. I could have been arrested and captivated by the same spirit that imprisoned him, falling prey to a crippling internal rage.
The calming presence of my aunt provided me the sense of security that I so desperately needed. Without words, she said to me that there are people that you cannot change, and you must not allow yourself to stoop to their level. You must overlook, forgive them, and move on, lest you become like them, trapped in a web of misery and pain.
Such messages are powerful and encouraging. Thanks, Pastor
Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2018