So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him: male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
I am hoping I did not misunderstand this scripture, but in its purest form I am looking at George Floyd, and I am looking at the image of God. Just like I look at my sisters Jen or Gina or Tabatha, or my brothers Trey, Darryll or Barry, I am looking at the image of God. They and I may act funny sometimes, but we are created in his image and I see no tag on what color is the best. In fact, all the other colors came later, and so did the attitude of prejudice in the Bible, not only between colors, but between nations.
No matter who we are, we are his image, so why not act that way. It only takes a fundamental look at how humanity divided from Genesis to now to see the utter devastation that prejudice, holier than thou and arrogant supremacy attitudes tore apart nations, started wars and created chaos where peace could have been had with simple reflection on how God created us to be. My mother fortunately, taught me that.
A black woman basically raised me in my early years, Evelyn. Her son, Junior was my best friend. Once I heard the "N" word and asked Junior what that meant whereupon he chased me around the block in anger. Haven't used it since out of respect for he and his mom who played a major role in my life, and for my mom who taught me we were all equal.
In Viet Nam, there was no color in war. Our Drill Instructor called us hogs, chocolate or vanilla hogs but we were all hogs. and we were all green as in a lean green fighting machine. My 3 best friends in Nam were black. James taught me how to box inside like Joe Frazier to destroy a bigger mans reach. Humphrey taught me to love Cajun food and Caldwell taught me how to laugh at myself. I guess I taught them something, maybe that it didn't matter where you came from or what color you were.
Then, later in life I coached an all black basketball team that included several pros. One time I asked our center Harvey, who had graduated from Bucknell University with honors, and set their all time rebounding record, if the guys minded being coached by a white man. Matter of factly he said, "they didn't notice".
That my friends is the point. If we don't spend so much time noticing the color of our skin we will come to realize we were all created by the same God, all in his image. So let's all do one simple thing that may make a difference, let's be the color of God, who encompasses all colors in one God!
Then, we may treat each other with a little more respect, and that may make this world a whole lot better to live in.
There is one thing sure about faith, that we cannot physically see all the results of faith until we actually step out in faith. Peter saw Jesus walk on water, he was sure when he started to walk to him that the Lord would honor his faith to walk out onto that water. But when he let the wind and the waves overcome his faith, he nearly drowned.
We cannot physically see Jesus today but we believe the promise in Matthew 28 that "he will be with us always to the very end of the age", and our faith steps are now based on the scriptures that teach us about him, and his Spirit that guides our movements. And even when we know all of this, we can also step out in faith and still come near drowning, through our doubt, insecurity and evolving circumstances.
In these COVID-19 times we take uncertain steps into uncharted waters when we feel like the Lord has led us to, and when the waves seem to calm down, when the wind stops blowing so strongly. But we never know for sure because this virus is much like our A.A. saying, it is "cunning and baffling".
Monday night we opened up ATB again for the first time since March 9th for in person meetings. It went better than I expected and everyone was compliant to our guidelines, and though there were risks involved, we were prepared. In every way possible we are doing "back to the basics" things, yet we do walk out in faith in some uncharted waters needing divine guidance.
As we embark on this new journey, armed with faith and confidence as well as a whole bunch of sprays and masks, we ask for your prayers for success. May we never take our eyes of the one who orchestrated this walk, and initiated it with one simple word: Come!
That's how we started!
We've heard it so many times, it's like a cliche that will never go away. You never know when it will happen, whether or not it will make a difference, how many times we have to learn the same lesson or if things are going to change. But it's true, we never really know for sure.
One thing we do know, God is with us in the dash between our beginning and our expiration date. During this time, he gives us the opportunity to choose what happens during that dash. We can use it as a- (minus) and waste it away, or a add a line that makes a + (cross) which includes Jesus in that dash. Doing so gives us an enormous purpose to live in a powerful way that constantly has surprises from God.
Most of you have read about my near disastrous encounter with two deer in a rainstorm last week, and the prompting of God's Spirit that saved me from a potentially fatal wreck. What I did not say in that story was how shortly thereafter I saw those familiar numbers 1003. These numbers have appeared shortly before or after almost every significant event like this in my life.
You never know what might happen but it is an assurance to me that God is with me whatever may happen. It happened again when I went for a COVID-19 test to ensure I was okay before we open ATB for meetings again. Heading toward my doctor's office there it was again 1003 on my truck clock. It gave me confidence that either way he was with me. Results, negative for the Corona.
Surely there have been times when the events have not turned out so well, but through it all when I see those numbers appear I am reminded that God has a purpose for me to accomplish on his behalf. You never know about many things, but we do know his work is never done, and we are His ones to do that work here on earth.
And how do I know for sure? Those numbers are my birth date and until he adds those last two numbers of my expiration date I am going to continue to live on the + side of life.
That would be on the cross side of A+cross The Bridge!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.