It was Arkansas in the early 60’s. Ignorant people, vicious temperaments… My dad grew up poor, one of nine kids to an Irish/German mom and a half American Indian dad. Being a sharecropper had no prejudice, it didn’t care about the color of a person’s skin, it ensured a life of poverty.
Right after I was born we lived with the threat of being kicked out of our house; I guess the landlord didn’t like my parents perspective on life. With time and age, I too would come to understand that perspective and support it 100%… Even if it cost me or us. Sometimes money, inconvenience, and even pain are prices worth paying in order to do what a person knows is the right action in their heart.
Humble origins and God-given wisdom directly from God’s word gave my parents eyes that didn’t see skin color. Our landlord wasn’t so lucky… My dad was in the Air Force and we lived a stretch from the base. My dad had a friend he served with and would take turns driving back and forth to the base.
This was long before they called it car pooling, it was called survival in those days. Sharing wasn’t a matter of conserving energy or trying to save a few dollars, it was a matter of having enough money to feed your family. On occasion that friend of my dad’s would show up early to our house while my dad was still getting ready.
It didn’t make a difference to my mom when she invited the family friend inside, who happened to be a black man, for a cup of coffee. It mattered to the landlord… The man expressed his disapproval of my parent’s choice of friends, but it didn’t change my parents actions for a second.
My guess is the old guy was a sight scared of a young virile man who boxed for the Air Force and stood up for his beliefs, not in defiance to man, but in obedience to God.
I’m honored and blessed to have had parents that didn’t need the call of society to inform them of the basics of right and wrong. They had the word of God to lead them in their hearts for that purpose. The path of any society can be measured and tracked by how closely it follows the precepts of God’s word.
Have you noticed, even from history, when a society or country doesn’t buy into the Biblical principles it always veers off course? A collision course is more appropriate. I’ve also noticed the people that follow God’s Biblical principles for their lives have infinitely more peace and joy.
There is trouble in this life… We all get a turn getting to make a choice and the choices aren’t always a cake walk. Consequences follow our choices. The right choice might mean some discomfort, maybe even some pain, but the long-term investment is backed by God Himself. The only safe investment we’ll ever make in this life…and justice for all…
I was an infant at the time… I ponder what was going through my dad’s friend’s mind when he lightly knocked on our door the first time… I know for sure he smiled when he heard my mom say, “C’mon in”! – “Let me get you a-cup-a-coffee Frank”!
I’m pretty sure God smiled too…