¹²While Jesus was in one of the town, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” ¹³Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing.” he said. “Be Clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. 14Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.“
Lord, some people talk too much because they want other’s to hear their “know it all” speeches; then again some people talk too much because of nerves chatter; and, then, Lord, some people talk too much because of self-absorption. But this prayer is for those that talk to much because of emotional and mental pain that overflows into their daily conversations.
Lord, help the person that is in emotional or mental pain to see that you enter into their lives everyday. Lord help them to understand you know their spirits are filled with worries. Let them know Lord they are no different from the man with leprosy when it comes to your unyielding love for your creation. Lord, allow them to feel your presence; and gently convey to their spirits that you stand waiting to heal their brokenness. Lord, give them the words to ask in prayer for guidance and healing as they create a dialogue between you and them.
I am asking for you to do these things Lord because: I have found those that unwittingly share life experiences have been greatly wounded. And because of their sorrows I come humbly before your Throne of Grace. So, once again, Lord, I am asking for divine healing for those that talk too much as they try to ease their emotional and mental pains. Lord, I ask that they find a true friend in you. Lord, I pray that you begin to peel the layers of untold anguish from their unconscious minds. Exposing their raw emotions for what they are as you help them to deal with each heartache privately. For in lessening their spiritual suffering they can find hope. And in finding hope they will find wisdom in who to share your blessings among and their tribulations with.
Thursday, November 28, 2013, was on and popping at 6:00 pm in the small town of Longmont, Colorado! For me shopping was at its best! And some people were at their worse! But the ill temperament of others did not stop me from having a great time. Let’s just say, I had way too much fun for a woman on a shoestring budget.
I tell you. My friend Debbie and I began planning our shopping strategy as soon as the stores released their ads. Actually it was more Debbie than I that made our shopping preparations. She is methodical. She is awesome! And I didn’t have a problem following her lead. And this year she had an extraordinary shopping game plan. Talk about divide and conquer! She had each side of Wal-Mart covered with shoppers. With Debbie’s strategic planning we were able to get everything everyone wanted [and then some]. What happened on Thursday, November 28, 2013, should go down in the records as the day shopping for Annette and Debbie was at its’ best.
What makes my friend amazing is that each year she plans and prepares a lavish dinner for a crowd. In addition to cooking a big meal for her family, she bakes pies and cookies for her local school holiday bake-sale, as she works 40 hours a week, drives an hour to work and an hour home every day. Once she gets home she cooks dinner! I know! She is superwoman! I don’t understand how she finds the energy to pull a 24 hour nonstop shopping spree on Black Friday. But her fondness of family makes her determine to buy gifts for her loved ones. And if she doesn’t buy them a gift she hand makes them a special gift. She is incredible. Me, I’m a wuss. I go home after 6 hours of grueling shopping and if I didn’t get someone a gift I just say, “Oh, well.” Just joking!
It’s amazing how Debbie and I become Black Friday shopping buddies. Because honestly I had stopped shopping on Black Friday’s mainly since I shop for a living. And when I am shopping for business I usually buy items for my loved ones for Christmas. So really there is no need for me to be out in the Black Friday crowd. But something happened. Debbie’s best friend who was her mother died in 2012.
Debbie is Caucasian [not that it should matter]. But it seems to me white people grieve differently than black people. Yet, despite the differences in grieving I knew my friend would feel the loss of not having her faithful shopping partner. Therefore, something within me was compelled to go shopping with my friend for 2012 Black Friday.
That year words weren’t spoken. But it was clear to see she was lost without her mom. And her loss and I with no need for a deal kept us out of sync. It is safe to write, we didn’t feel like a team because we had no reason to be a team. However, we did manage to enjoy each other’s company while standing in line. But this year was amazing! We were on one-accord. And! Oh! My! God! I was out of control! I was on a shopping high! It was as if the deals had an aroma of savings [something every penny-pincher likes]. Everything smelt financially sweet. Even the fifty inch and the thirty-two inch televisions I purchased. Laughter. And the funny thing is, I have no need for neither television; but, I am now the owner of two new flat screen TV’s because the deals were too good to pass up.
I purchased many other items but I must write the televisions were my best deals.
Did I meet hostility? You bet ya!
A woman was standing in line for a GPS system when she overheard Debbie giving me instructions to get some Sony DSLR Cameras and full HD Camcorders memory cards. First of all I was panicking. I had just gotten back from a run from the other side of the store. Worse, I was pressed for time and I was having a hard time locating the item Debbie wanted. Debbie kept pointing in the direction she thought the memory cards would be. I kept returning to her with a puzzled look. Finally the woman said, “There down there somewhere.” I thought to myself, “Down there where?!!!” Frustration was setting in so when I found some memory cards I stood next to them.
The minute 7:00 pm rolled around hands began gabbing. I was gabbing with the best of them. This woman that had her basket in front of the display was the recipient of a lot of memory cards she didn’t want. They were dropping into her basket as people were grabbing. Laughter. The funny thing about this story is: this little old woman put her basket in the line of fire thinking it would give her an edge. Her plan was successful in away. People were respectful of her senior status, but it didn’t stop the shoppers from reaching over her and grabbing items. As a matter of fact she didn’t have to grab memory cards for the camera she was waiting in line for; because, again, they were falling in her basket. All she needed to get was the camera. Talk about having good fortune! Yet, the downfall to her plan was that she had to wait till everyone got what they wanted from the display before she could leave. And because she couldn’t leave her maneuver with putting her basket in front of the display kept her in the midst of flying hands that were determine to get items of desire. As I am reflecting on the moment, it was clear to see she had never been to Black Friday, therefore, she didn’t know what to expect [mixed emotions]. Any-who-how . . .
After grabbing the wrong memory cards I notice the memory cards Debbie wanted minutes later for $9.99. So I rushed over to the display and grabbed the remaining. I was proud of myself. Sometime later the same women that pointed me in the direction of the cards gets in my face and moderately yelled, “I went to get some of those memory cards and they were all gone.” She looks down into my basket and then mouthed, “I guess you took all of them?” From her opposed words to her warlike body language I knew the situation could get ugly if I made an unfavorable move. And so I was inwardly willing to give her all the cards but I politely smiled and said, “Mam, how many do you want?” She looked puzzled. Her friend looked puzzled. She said, “I would like to have two.” I reached in my buggy, grabbed two memory cards and gave them to her. She smiled. Her friend began to give me compliments for having the spirit of sharing. I smiled at both the women. When I left the area I felt less intimidated by a person that feels like life has robbed her or withheld from her the things she wants or wanted.
Sincerely, I was glad I was able to diffuse an encounter that could have gone wrong on so many levels. And now that I am older, I realize that I have learned nothing is worth fighting for unless it is your life you are saving. Outside of that, I guess knowing and living by the proverb “If at first you don’t succeed try, try again!” And on that note, I hope everyone enjoyed Black Friday as much as my friend Debbie and I. And if you didn’t get what you wanted in 2013 on Black Friday it was not meant to be for the moment. But keep trying for the prize because it is worth striving for.
A friend is one who knows us, but loves us anyway. ~Fr. Jerome Cummings
Recently, I noticed several of my readers (not like I have many at this point) are from other ethnic groups. I’m grateful for that! I have a rainbow of friends. I don’t have much time today to discuss the beauty of having friends from all walks of life and races, but I want to take a quick moment to share a funny story, or a story I found funny some years ago.
Truly I think Black people can sometimes be as harsh and unforgiving towards other ethnic groups as other racial groups are sometimes towards Black’s [laughter]. But I have several White friends I enjoy. When they celebrate their accomplishments I celebrate with them and when they are sad I cry with and for them. Honestly, many of them, just like my Black friends, hold my deepest secrets about my life and aspirations.
This story is about friendship, gaining of trust, love and respect of all people. One day a Black friend came to visit me when I lived in my old home. And since I am a person that loves art I surround myself with such beauty without bias. I buy Black art, art with flowers or nature and art with people from other cultures. As a matter of fact, when the house went on the market I was permitted to leave my artwork on the walls, because no one could conclude the house belonged to a Black person. Any-who-how, there were photos sitting on my fireplace mantel. My friend, being curious, got up from the place she was sitting and began to scan them. Then I hear these words coming from my den, “Girl, when are you going to take these White folks out of here and put a picture in this frame?” I was puzzled by her remark. I knew she was talking about the stock photo copy that comes in picture frames, but I knew, or at least I thought I had removed all the stock photos copies from the frames sitting on my mantel. So I go to see what she was talking about. When I got to the frame of question, within in its boundaries was a friend I knew loved me. She was and is a White female. She was and still is as precious to me as my Black friends and family members. She never forgot my birthdays. Every year she made me a birthday cake and brought it to work to celebrate the day of my earthly arrival. She remembered my birthday when my family members would forget it! She always shared what little she had to brighten my bleak life. She became my inspiration to not give up when all hope was gone. I immediately turned to my Black friend that I also cherished and told her, “Girl, that’s not a stock photo!” And with a hardy laugh, I said, “That’s my friend Ronna and her son!” Nothing else needed to be said. We laugh and continued on with our visit.
I urge and wish people from all races to stop by and visit. I welcome each of your comments and insight on matters about women of color as we each continue to learn how to bridge the gap on racial issues. Have a great Thursday!