As I recall, it was the second of four years of college in a study for the gospel ministry. It was my World History class that was being taught by a very learned instructor who was also the president of the college.
That particular class day led us to a passage of scripture in the 13th chapter of Acts. As the passage was being read, our instructor had us to pause and give attention to verse one in the text. The chapter recorded the gathering of leaders of the faith with the intention and plan of setting aside and sending out missionaries. In the group were certain prophets and teachers. Noted among the group were four men. Barnabus, Simeon that was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, and Saul.
Our instructor directed our attention to Simeon that was called Niger. What happened next planted a seed of belonging and trust within me that has served me well throughout my life. He was a large man with a heavy voice, and every fiber of his being beamed with the fragrance of authority. He demanded that no one was to ever in any way use the text about Simeon's race in a derogatory manner. You could have heard a pin fall, and no one as much as asked a question or made a statement, because they knew where the teacher was coming from.
It was a class of white students with one lone black student in the person of myself. On this major subject in the late 60s, our instructor both defined to me and demonstrated an object lesson of what it means to be 'proactive'*. In my own mind, he had spoken volumes and built a proactive dame, holding back any potential floods of prejudice or racism.
*tending to initiate change rather than reacting to events; serving to prepare for, intervene in, or control an expected occurrence or situation, especially a negative or difficult one; anticipatory.
Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2020
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