Lifting My Voice

There are a number of heinous things taking place in the United States these days. There are continued attacks on Christianity. Musicality has been attacked. Families continue to be torn apart and yet there seems to be no one crying out for the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Well, I am lifting my voice. I am sick and tired of the few elitists who know more than God does. It is time we took a stand not only for the rights as guaranteed by the Constitution but also, and more importantly, the Word of God.

The most egregious affront to freedom is the condoning of the murder of unborn children. Abortion has taken center stage and the road is being filled with people that have a disdain for life. Yes, I am certain this expose will be rebuffed, yet that is not a matter of concern. My concern is for those children that would survive outside the womb but a selfish mother, father, and doctor (or whoever else in some cases) deem that is it not prudent to allow the child to live. Well, this very notion is an affront to the Word of God. It is time someone stood against the likes of New York Governor Cuomo who recently signed such an offense into law. Now, at least one delegate in Virginia seeks to follow suit. Well, I am lifting my voice against even the idea of needless and senseless abortions and infanticide.

Exodus 20:13 uses the simple words, “Thou shall not kill.” This is to say that God strictly condemns the taking of innocent life. There is no more innocent life than an embryo or fetus. The newborn child is also guiltless in that neither the unborn or newborn have had the opportunity to commit any sin or wrong. Yet, there are those that have determined that it is a woman’s right to take the life of the most innocent in our society, What about the rights of the embryo? What about the rights of the fetus? What about the rights of the newborn? God knew them before they were formed in the womb and still, some see them as being insignificant and not worthy of life. Well, I am sick of it. I have had enough. I am lifting my voice against the ruthless murder of those who have no ability to defend themselves.

Do not misunderstand my anger. I realize that are rare circumstances wherein the mother’s life could be in danger because of problems within the pregnancy itself. I am no medical doctor, so I don’t speak on that end. I speak on the end that God is the giver of life and that if He determines it is wrong to kill the innocent then we ought not to kill the innocent. Those who choose to participate and encourage this activity will one day have to stand before God and answer as to why they found reason to kill innocent people. Roe vs Wade was an atrocity. What is going on now is an infringement on the right to life as well as a total disregard for the Word of God. I lift my voice and urge all to return to the Word of God so as to make such infractions of the Word void.

Times of Sadness

Today my mind goes back to a difficult time in my life. It is a day I will never forget. Some days just do not go away and there is good reason the for lingering of those days. This particular day I went to see my mother in a hospital in Baltimore. My sister, just a few days prior, moved my mother into her home. You see, my mother suffered with Alzheimer’s and was not in control of herself. My youngest brother, my sister and I were my mother’s primary caretakers. And, for good reason my sister thought it best to move my mother into her home where there were no steps inside. My only question to my sister was “Will she ever come back home?”

Somehow I knew that she would not return to my childhood home. I studied that two-story brick house in Baltimore for a moment reminiscing on the many things that took place in that house. I knew that things would not be the same. I knew that my mother did not have many days left and I had no idea how to handle the eventuality of her death. After all, she was my mother and she had been a strong woman. She was a feisty woman so, to see her weak in many ways was far from the norm. Yes, I saw my mother even while it was hard to see Mama. Sometimes sadness is masked by duty and responsibility. That would not matter though; as my sister drove off with my mother sadness would slowly seep out.

And there was the final hospital visit. I knew my mother was having some issues. That did not matter. I wanted to sit with her. I wanted to hear her talk. I wanted to make her laugh. The problem was that she did not talk – not to me nor my sister nor the personal attendant. She grunted a little and then choked. The nurses assumed the choking because of what she had recently drank and sat my mother more upright in the bed. I stayed with her a while longer and had to leave as I was scheduled to tutor a young lady in Baltimore County. I was going to come back; that is where my heart was. My sister would stay in touch with me as to my mother’s condition. The blood clot in her lung would see to her soon demise.

The two hour session was more than half over. My phone rang and my sister was on the other side. She advised me that there was no need to go to the hospital. It was all I could do to contain myself as I sat in front of that young lady. There was nothing more I could do for my mother and this student was in need of my services. I continued with the lesson. I needed to finish this course for the young student. I could not sit there and express my sadness. My work and duties had to prevail so that the hurt was covered by responsibility. Still, just below the surface the hurt was boiling.

There was no one else that I would allow to preach her funeral. No one else could be a personal as her son. Perhaps this was a bit selfish of me? It truly matters not because as I presented her eulogy the message was “A Sure Foundation.” The reflection only brought about more tears yet there was certain joy because my mother was certainly Mama. The hurt sometimes presents today. That is alright though, it has only been a few years and sadness is not a thing that can be easily erased. Yes, I miss my Mama which is why there are sometimes moments of sadness.

Yes, there were times of sadness prior to that. In 1976 my maternal grandfather succumbed to the results of a stroke. Other family members preceded my mother in death to include all grandparents, a niece and my father. Yet there remains another time of sadness that arose not long after my mother crossed into eternity. My great-nephew was born with dire sicknesses. I did not know him very well yet I lived with him, his parents and his brother for a short period of time. He crossing into eternity soon followed my mother. Sadness set in on top of sadness. I was asked to preach his funeral. So, I did.

Yes, I remember that five year old. He never quite got “Uncle” down so it sounded like he was calling me “Oink Oink.” Yes, even in sadness there are things that can make you smile. In hurt there are moments of healing. I was asked to preach this young child’s funeral and I preached as though it was Sunday morning. The goal was to present healing in pain. There is absolutely little we can do when we are sad except to wade through the sadness. So, in wading I preached “Time is Winding Up.” The message was not for the audience alone but also for me. It would be nice to hear my nephew once again say, “Oink Oink.”

Today I have been made sad again. You see, Hawaii was a wonderful experience for me on a number of levels. It is true that the military took me there. Nonetheless, I am convinced I was there by reason of Divine intervention. This is because I was invited to the City of Refuge soon after I arrived on the island. I quickly joined the church and became involved in the ministry in a number of ways. In doing so I had opportunity to work with the Anderson family. Pastor Anderson was an excellent pastour with four children. The oldest was David. David was a few years younger than me yet we bonded.

I choose not to forget the time there was a church picnic. David thought that he could beat me wrestling. He was a tall, lanky teenager and I a trained Marine; not so tall and far from lanky. Well, let’s just say David never pinned me. These are the types of things that come to mind when I think of a young man that became a husband and father. I had not seen him for several years before I visited him in the hospital a very short time ago. We were able to talk and reminisce. We laughed a little and eventually prayed. It was a blessing to be in David’s presence. I am not so sure they make them better than that.

David has now crossed into eternity. As these words are being penned I am cloaked in a sort of heaviness. Sadness has once again found itself around me. Yet, I am not the only one walking under the cloud of despair. I am certain Pastour Anderson, Sister Victoria and David’s siblings are having a hard time keeping tears from their eyes. Sadness is no easy thing. It pulls at your very fiber. Even so, I am convinced that in this time of sadness God is able to show himself mighty and powerful. I am certain that through this hurt and pain there will be healing. This is a time of sadness and it is my prayer that comfort and peace envelope all that mourn for David.