An Old School Answer For A New Year

IMG_5323The young man sat in the barber chair and reflected on his life and the life of his brother.  I sat intensively in my seat taking in the conversation as I was up next for the chair. I always arrive early at the barber shop.  I feel I should not have to wait hours to cut the little hair I have and my beard. I remember the barber when he was a toddler and I am proud of him and his dedication to his craft. The young man tells how he was at a gambling establishment with “$15,000” cash on him. He explained as he left the gambling site, he started up his vehicle with the automatic starter device and somehow this act startled his assailant. He told how he ran as his would-be robber shot at him with the bullets striking him “five times.” He stated he landed on his back, bleeding profusely as he plead for his life and told the would-be robber to take the money looking skyward from his back. “He didn’t take the money” the young man said. He explained how he was shot in his arms and legs and his torso but “no major organs” were hit or injured.

He went on to explain how his brother was shot “one time” and died of his wound. He asked WHY he lived and his younger brother died. He talk about the hospital staff coming to him to asked if he wanted to give consent for his brother’s organs to be donated to others on a waiting list. His response was “no.” He went on to explain how the hospital staff came back asking him if his brother was in need of a kidney transplant or a heart transplant, would he being willing to accept such a donated transplant so that his brother might live? He responded emphatically with a “yes.” He changed his mind and consented to donate the requested organs. “At least five persons benefited from my brother’s donations,” he said. He then went on to tell how at his brother’s funeral four persons responded to the preachers’ call to salvation and how his brother’s death had made an impact on theirs lives. But the question of “Why” he lived and his brother died was still eating at him as he survived being shot five times and his brother died after being shot once. The barber finished up the young man’s haircut and I took my seat in the chair. I saw an opening and I suggested to the young man to read Psalm 139 and explained that the answer to his question could be found there. He said he would read it as he left. Seconds later he returned to confirmed the Psalm. He had previously said he was 39 and I told him to add a “1” in front of his age as he smiled and left.

About three weeks later as I was leaving a local diner the young man was coming in. He smiled and extended his hand and told me he read the Psalm. I would have never recognized him without this acknowledgement. Several weeks after this encounter he came up to me “again” at Walgreens as I was editing and selecting photographs and like at the diner’s, he greeted me with a smile and a hand shake. There was a “joy” emanating from his face as he explained he was there with his mother. I asked where his mother was and he pointed her out to me. I greeted her and gave accolades regarding her son. I instructed him to continue reading other scriptures as well. The Bible– Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, is the only Book that “reads You” instead of you reading it.

As we face the upcoming election for president in 2016, it appears that the United States may well be on the way to “anointing” Donald J. Trump as “King” or as he would put it, the next President of the United States. Trump has pledged to “Make America Great Again” and has tapped into the fears and prejudices of the many who yearn for the good old days. Martin Niemoller : “First they came for the Socialist…” appears appropriate for this time of our nation as a new majority (Blacks, Mexicans, Latinos, Asian.) stands at the threshold of America. The billionaire candidate who is speaking for the approximately 30 percent of conservative white America ” first came for Mexicans, and I did not speak out–Because I was not Mexican, then women …, then Jews…, then Muslims…. Then “he” came for me– and there was no one left to speak for me”. But the old school answer to the questions of yesterday, today and tomorrow can be found in the Word of God. The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord,…Prov.21:1… We may not be able to answer the question, WHY, but we can answer WHO?…Humm.

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