Thought #9

I’ve been wanting to log this thought for quite some time.

As a child, I was bussed to school. For an hour, my bus would wind through several of Chicago’s South Side black neighborhoods. I never minded the ride, as I enjoyed the architecture that changed as steady progressed toward our destination. In Spring, the morning sun would illuminate the characteristic red brick on rows of bungalows, making it seem like I was riding through Edward Hopper’s “Sunday”. All this changed when the bus would round the corner near 78th and Marshfield.

Each morning a man would stand out in front of his home, with Bible in hand, shouting verses. To a group of mischievous and restless school kids, we saw this as an opportunity to impress each other. The first time we happened on this man, we shouted, “Amen” and “Hallelujah” “Praise Jesus” and fell back into our seats laughing at the small reaction we got. By the third time, several of us tried to come up with tricker devices to use to deter the man from his morning sermon.

“The path of the righteous is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men,” the man would shout.

“You moma is so ugly that gorillas think she’s a queen!” shouted one boy. We would fall back into our seats, hysterical with laughter.

I recently thought about that man and wondered what brought him to such a public display of prayer. What was he praying for? Had his life been so beset with problems that he was moved by the spirit to pray publicly as a form of redemption? Or could this be his testimony of how the Lord works?

I’ll never know. By the end of third grade, the man was no longer praying outdoors for our consumption.

As I think about that period of time, our shouting could have been an encouragement to him, a test to his faith or willingness to stand apart for what he requested of God or believed in. I’ve been struggling for years with this whole concept of individuality and group. And listening to spiritual tape, it clicked for me how having it does not necessarily mean that it’s manifestation from one’s being as I had previously thought .


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on March 16, 2008 by in Thoughts.
%d bloggers like this: