Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What I Owe the African American Community and Intend to Pay in Full.

I am obligated and owe much.  Not just for the abuse done to great great grandfathers and grandmothers over the centuries.  Not just for the injustice done in the name of good intentions done to these precious people in the last century.  Not just the fact that there is still underground hatred and racism on the part of many.  For these reasons and more, I owe these precious brothers and sisters much:

  • I owe honor.  Honor for the struggle they have gone thru.  
  • I owe understanding within my capacity to understand. 
  • I owe Respect for the goodness that occurs among many of these precious ones.
  • I owe friendship for and to those who would have me
  • I owe thanks for allowing me to be part of your lives and worship God with you and like you
  • I owe a great debt for opening my eyes when they were closed to so much
  • I owe a debt of Love.
None of these things are anything I can do with money.  Only time.  I must be willing to love enough to be a help and not a hindrance nor an enabling for further degradation that can creep in.

  • I owe the Truth.  When in my abstract view I find deception or untruths and sometimes outright lies, I must offer the antidote to this.. it's truth.
  • I owe wisdom.  When you ask of me, I will offer what I know to be true.  It may be wise and oftentimes is.  It comes with grey hair.
  • I owe encouragement.  Not sanctioning any bad or ignorant behavior, but encouragement when I see right action.
  • I owe an argument sometimes when there is something that is simply out of the realm of common sense and has to be challenged.
  • I owe loyalty, not to allow any slight or conflict between us to divide us.  If you choose to leave I will not chase you.  But I value you and hope despite our disagreements, you will abide with me in fellowship.
  • I owe a hearing ear and sometimes a long-suffering ear.  Sometimes you might go off and lose it.. I'll not say much about that.
  • I owe protection of the innocent.  If someone is being hurt by you, if you slander, if you are vile, I will find a way to deal with that.  God hates the shedding of innocent blood.
  • I owe friendship, real friendship, covenant friendship.  Friendship that goes beyond shallow but stands together even when we don't see eye to eye.  Like brothers and sisters in any family, we might fight but we always forgive.
  • I owe you what I am thinking right now.  You need to know that I think about things you think about. That your thoughts matter.  That I will own my thoughts and if they offend I will say I am sorry.
  • I owe you good humor.  Good laughter.  Good joy.  Fullness even.  I am not unwilling to laugh with you but not at you.
  • I owe you building up words, not just tearing down words.  Some things need tearing down, it's better if you do it, but allow me to encourage you to do so.

Most of all I owe you Love.  I owe you AGAPE love which means no matter what you do or don't do, even if you hurt me, I will not fail to love you in spite of whatever transpires.  I live by the adage, "Do you love Him or Her enough to cross this bridge with them in spite of the hurt and pain"?  It's a challenge but one I am willing to take.

The Bible says,

Give respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.  Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.  Romans 13: 7-14

It is in that admonition of the Apostle Paul that I make this declaration of debt.  I owe you.. much.

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