Day of Hope

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On Saturday, August 18th, 2018 I was a volunteer for a Day of Hope located on the grounds of Freedom Temple AME Zion Church amongst various other churches and organizations. We passed out food for the less fortunate, gave away over 400 backpacks to school children, clothes giveaway, a prayer tent, job employment assistance, mental health awareness, a bounce house and overall good fun. I felt led to volunteer at this event because it’s all about giving back especially when others have helped you. I know that my job title may be an Engineer but my Earth title is to help others and be a servant to the Lord. I try to be the best representation of his ideals and principles; consequently I fall short every day. Thankfully, I get another chance when I wake up in the morning. I realize that God has put me in situations as a reminder that anything can happen to you but with HIM, I can get through it. So to see these people be blessed with groceries, potential job placement, school supplies and overall support from total strangers is what life is all about. Why wouldn’t I want to be a part of that? I knew the workload would be heavy but I got broad shoulders so I am used to this.

Before the events started we had a meeting outside with the coordinator and we greeted each other and this lady named Faith came to me and said that God told her to tell me that I’m an unsung hero. This was a powerful statement because I truly feel that God was speaking to me through her and to add the fact that her name is Faith and with the current situations I have going on in my life, I need faith to order to keep myself sane this is just confirmation or how my friends like to call it ‘STAMP’. I look at myself in three arenas: Spiritual, mental and physical. Physical attractions are common, a mental connection is rare, a spiritual connection is divine. In my opinion the spiritual is most important because it’s the foundation of existence. It’s the moral fabric that keeps us all grounded. Once the spirit is broken then the mental follows suit because now your mind feels that these trials and tribulations are your destiny and there is no comeback. With mental health awareness being on the forefront, it is pivotal that the mental aspect not be overlooked. To be honest, I go through struggles everyday more mental than physical but I must remain strong for my family and friends. I know that my mental struggles have caused conflict with my wife. Luckily, we have a strong base of communication where we can talk these things out. To be 100 percent honest, I need help.  There are times that I battle with not fitting in; being inadequate to those I love the most and feeling inferior. I know my wife says I can talk to her about anything and normally I do but I don’t want to be a burden to her. Through prayer it has re-established my spiritual arena; however it is imperative to have a strong mental foundation because it can affect your physical state because now at this point you don’t give a fuck and the first thing people see is your physical.

There is a 5 letter word known for destruction and it’s called the DEVIL, a known adversary since the beginning of time and normally the person that gets credit for any misfortune. Always remember that life is warfare. For all the good things you try to accomplish there will be someone or something trying to extinguish your candle of light but never stop trying. Also, stop giving the Devil so much credit. Another 5 letter word known for destruction is PRIDE. Having large amounts of pride will convoluted your thought process which can lead to your ultimate demise. It happens to us all. Pride has gotten the best of me a few times in my life and it almost cost me my marriage because I felt my season should have been now but the Lord had other plans and it’s that recognition that despite my thoughts, I am still here shows that a higher power is present in my life. I felt that as an Engineer with a Master’s Degree, I shouldn’t settle for any job and I damn sure shouldn’t be at social services trying to get food stamps or a ticket to a food pantry. My name is Sonny for crying out loud, but those events showed that I’m susceptible to anything but it’s how I deal with adversity that builds my character. There is a 5 letter word known for countering the devil and your pride and that is JESUS. Like I said earlier life is warfare but with Him on my side and wearing His armor for protection, I will not be defeated. I may be bloody but not unbowed.

I want us to live everyday with hope. I know that may be hard at times especially with the social climate of America and dealing with your own personal struggles. I want us to not look like what we are going through. This can be difficult for me because my facial expression normally dictate my mood. It wasn’t until I became familiar with the story of John the Baptist death that I must strive to not look like what I am going through.  John the Baptist was known for speaking so highly about Jesus and how He was the one to be praised. He became a popular preacher and according to Matthew 3:13-17 he baptized Jesus. 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. 16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” John’s story ends in tragedy when he is killed by King Herod Antipas. John was imprisoned by King Herod because he publicly criticized his marriage to Herodias who was once married to his brother. Deep down King Herod didn’t want to kill him because he recognized how important John was but his PRIDE got in the way. After granting his stepdaughter/niece anything she wanted she was coaxed by her mother to ask for John’s head on a platter. Bound by his own words, he did what the girl wanted and she even had the nerve to deliver his head to his mother. Jesus was devastated to find out that his older cousin, John has been killed and decides to retreat to a place of solemn to grieve with his disciples. As you recall he wept over Lazarus but this one hurt him to the core. Even though no one was supposed to find out where he was, a multitude of people came looking for help for Jesus. Despite what he was going through, he knew that he had to help others.

I mention this story because throughout our own trials and tribulations, there is a multitude of people that look up to you for guidance, strength and understanding. Don’t let turmoil alter your spiritual state for it’s this foundation that continues to keep us pushing. Continue to be the unsung hero for your actions do not go in vain. Continue to let your Earth title trump your job title because you can lose everything today. Leaders are remembered but a servant never dies. Let everyday be a continuation of hope.  Will it be easy? Of course not but remember victory no matter how brief it is sticks with a person. Some people dream of a second chance thanks to God we are living it.

 

 

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