GUESS WHAT DAY IT IS

GUESS WHAT DAY IT IS                                                                                                                     Andy Hollifield 11-16-19
Alright folks, someone better hurry! We cannot possibly have all of this impeachment stuff going on past Thanksgiving. I think that might would be illegal. That would put us in the one month out of the year that we are supposed to have peace on earth and goodwill toward men. To quote a very famous American actor who everyone knows and loves; “Good grief!” These words repeatedly spoken by Charlie Brown sum up things pretty good don’t they? Hey, I have an idea. Why don’t we put Charlie Brown on the ballot for maybe, I don’t know, Speaker of the House? He’s a cartoon character I know but at least he can make us laugh without doing any harm or costing us anything. We probably can’t do that though because Congressman Jerry Nadler of New York probably wouldn’t allow it. Since Adam Schiff of California has taken Jerry’s place in front of the cameras, trying to get Charlie Brown on the ballot would probably be grounds for more Congressional hearings.

Do you want to hear something really funny? Today is “International Day For Tolerance.” I did not know that. While writing this I stumbled across a website called “wincalendar.com.” All of this information is from that site. It struck me as curious that today is “International Day For Tolerance” but tomorrow is “National Unfriend Day.” Just hang on because the moron friend you have to tolerate today can be unfriended tomorrow. I know that is a load off of your mind. Maybe if they get time, our House and Senate might could find the time to hold hearings and actually take a vote and make all of these days official. They might have to put that off until Tuesday the 19th because that is “World Toilet Day.” I kid you not; the world actually has a day on which we celebrate toilets! What a mess! Oops, poor choice of words. Of course, if you have ever visited an outhouse, I can kind of understand why you would create a stink about celebrating toilets. Sorry, I did it again. I just can’t help myself. It’s too easy.

Maybe by Thursday the 21st we can make sense of it all. That will be the day to do it since it is “World Philosophy Day.” Just to help me understand, I looked up the definition of “Philosophy.” You’ve gotta hear this: the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be resolved. Huh? Since when did my existence become a problem for me that needed to be studied or resolved. I do agree with the part about studying a language. We have a lot of people in this country that need to study “English” since that is officially our national language. Can I get a witness?

I have to stop with the philosophy before I fry my last working brain cell. If it isn’t fried from the philosophy already, I can do that on Thursday the 21st which is “World Television Day.” “Good grief!” There are several other days but they have legitimate causes so I am not going to make fun of them. But then, we come to Monday, December 9th which is “Anti-Corruption Day.” We don’t celebrate that in this country, or maybe we do. We just do it all year and create as much of it as we can. It’s good to know our country is doing its part to make that day necessary.

Finally on the 9th is the day that will make politicians the world over just plumb giddy. It is “Green Monday.” Maybe that would be a good day for us all to go and get an “Impossible Whopper” from Burger King. I would imagine the veggies in it are organically grown (not knocking that) using green methods. Why is it that some people want to make veggies taste like beef?  Cows have been doing it forever.  But, no one is trying to make beef taste like veggies?    Just remember this: “Beef, it’s what’s for dinner!”

Wednesday the 18th is “Arabic Language Day.” Hey, I have an idea. If we don’t already have one, why don’t we have an “English Language Day” in this country to celebrate our national language? I seem to have missed the days for “Southern English Day” and “Cajun Language Day.” Both of those are languages that are often imitated but never duplicated “Y’all.”

The 18th is also “International Migrants Day.” Maybe we could get a day and call it, “American Born and Naturalized Citizens Day.” Maybe we could share the 10th of December with “Human Rights Day” which follows “Green Monday.” No, that would never work because our government is trying to take away our rights.

Well, like they used to say on “Hee Haw” “I’m through playin’ now.” I just couldn’t help myself. Ain’t this been fun? Don’t forget; if you don’t like this article, it is still “International Day For Tolerance” but don’t worry, you can unfriend me tomorrow! Have a great day…or is there a different day for that already? Oh well, have whatever kind of day you want to!

https://wordpress.com/post/morningmannaanddailygrace.com/2388

111619                                                              874

THINGS AREN’T ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM

THINGS AREN’T ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM                                                                               Andy Hollifield 11-15-2019
1 Samuel 16:7 “…for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (KJV)
Kicking the can down the road, Everette didn’t seem to mind the rain that was pelting him. He had kind of gotten used to it over the years. His clothes were a little ragged and dirty but I guess that was to be expected. You just couldn’t live the way he did and stay clean and presentable.

Times had been especially hard for Everette since the mill closed down three years ago. In what seemed like a past life, he had been a department supervisor with 20 people working for him. The money was good and life was even better. The pickup truck he had been so proud of was now a distant memory. A lot of the friends he had grown up around his whole life were now gone. Those who hadn’t died already had moved when the mill closed. He couldn’t see the point in transferring to Mexico. He would have a job but would be making far less than here in his hometown. What if the mill decided to move again? There he would be, stuck in southern Mexico in a country where he couldn’t even speak the language and crime was rampant. He had decided to cut his losses and stay here. At least he knew the streets here and what people were left. That was better than not knowing anyone in a strange place hundreds of miles away from the life he had known.

It’s funny how when you kind of have nothing, you begin to see the reality of things around you. Poverty and hard times make you appreciate what little you do have and also makes you more aware of the needs of others. A quest for survival takes the place of greed and while it may be miserable at times, it comes with a certain amount of peace of mind.

As he walks along whistling, the rain starts to fall harder and there is a bite in the cool fall air. He picks up his pace a little and starts up the drive to a nearby house. It wasn’t much but he was sure he could at least find some warmth and get out of the rain and probably even a bite to eat. As he knocks on the door, he can hear children hollering for their mom that someone was at the door.

After a minute that seemed like forever standing in the cold rain, a woman comes and unlocks and opens the door. She rushes him in and takes his coat while asking if he is hungry and offers to bring him a plate and tells him to take a seat at the table. Before he sits down, he puts his lunchbox on a counter then washes his hands. You get a lot of black rubber on you when you work maintenance in a tire plant. As he finally takes his seat, his wife brings him a plate as a little three-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy rush over to give their dad a hug. Life may not be like it used to be, but walking four miles home from work in the rain isn’t such a big deal when you can come home to a warm house, hot food, and people that love and appreciate you.

Everette realized that he may have lost a lot but nothing that can’t be replaced. He still had all of the important stuff that you can’t put a price on. And the best part was that both of the kids were too young to know how hard things were.

He slips off his muddy work boots and puts them over a heat vent to dry overnight. He knows that tomorrow he will put them on before daylight and walk the four miles back to work. He quietly looks at his family and realizes just how rich the Lord has made him. He knows in his heart that come rain or shine in the morning, it will be worth the trip for the privilege of coming back to his little castle and the little family God has blessed him with.

A lot of people passing by may have seen him and thought by his dirty clothes he was some poor, lazy, homeless, person. It was quite the opposite. He was rich beyond compare and content with the blessings of the Lord.

https://wordpress.com/post/morningmannaanddailygrace.com/2386

111519                                                          758

OOH GOO GA MOOSKA

OOH GOO GA MOOSKA                                                                                                                      Andy Hollifield 11-14-19
Can you pronounce the title? Do you know the meaning of the word or phrase? Some say it came from a song called, “Squaws Along The Yukon” released by country star Hank Thompson in 1958. His lyrics were a little different and were just “Ooga Ooga mooska.” In all my reading I found it is supposed to mean “I love you” in Eskimo language. Since there are three different languages used by Eskimos that isn’t likely.

Western explorers first arriving in Alaska observed Eskimos rubbing noses together and called it an Eskimo kiss. Actually, it is just a standard greeting in that region such as a handshake is to us. It really has no meaning and nose-rubbing has nothing to do with romance.

That’s enough party-pooping facts. We always pronounced it like I wrote it in the title and were told it was what was said to say ‘I love you” and was said when rubbing noses together. That brings me to my point and believe it or not, as much as I love truth, I believe I will keep my childhood definitions and Eskimo kiss in spite of the fact the phrase has no meaning and the act is just a greeting.

Diane started something Wednesday morning with my number two grandson Hetzel who spent the night with us for the first time. She picked him up and rubbed noses with him and said the phrase and he thought it was out of this world hilarious. She got so tickled at him laughing she could barely keep saying it for laughing. It doesn’t matter what you say or what you might think it means, that baby loved it and had a big time with someone paying attention to him. He probably couldn’t care less what it means but was most likely laughing about rubbing noses. He is only ten months old so it’s not like he would have understood it anyway.

You may be thinking this is all pretty ridiculous and wondering why I would waste time writing about it. If that’s your opinion, don’t write about it on your Facebook post. I can promise you from watching little Moose laughing, it meant something to him. And yes, when he starts talking you can bet Diane will teach him to say it and I am sure based on his laughter, she will be rubbing noses with him for a long time to come.

Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in facts and details that we forget to take time to enjoy life. I personally think it is a very important phrase and greeting. If for no other reason, it created a moment that will always be a memory of him laughing repeatedly. Wouldn’t it be great if we could forget everything and chill out and enjoy life more than what we do? This may not mean anything to you but if you have contact with small children, it will almost always mean a few moments of laughter to them.

When I first learned it as a small child, it was fun. As I got a little older, I thought it was pretty cool that I knew a foreign word. I am not advocating going up to women or men you know and trying to rub noses because they would probably consider it an invasion of their personal space. I do believe though, if we did this and other silly little things to entertain our children, they wouldn’t be having to look elsewhere to find love and affection. Maybe on second thought, it does mean “I love you.” Our lives have always had ups and downs but maybe if we did take a little time to enjoy life the way a child does, maybe some of the problems we have in the world wouldn’t seem so insurmountable. The laughter of a child sure helps put stuff into perspective, doesn’t it?

Maybe that is what our politicians need to do; just give each other a good nose rub and see where it goes from there. As a matter of fact, if you are grumpy about everything, maybe you just need a good nose rub to help you lighten up a little bit and not be so serious about everything all the time.

Ooh goo ga mooska and have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

https://wordpress.com/post/morningmannaanddailygrace.com/2384

 

111419                                                             730

THOSE MOMENTS

THOSE MOMENTS                                                                                                                                 Andy Hollifield 11-7-19
Matthew 21:16 “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?” (ALL SCRIPTURE IS KJV)
When it comes to honest and sincere worship, we have to look no further than the heart of a child. I have written before of Tyler’s experience with seeing a man in his room that I couldn’t see and was talking to him when he was still pretty much non-verbal. I have also written of the time he was in bed and I heard him talking. When I checked on him and asked who he was talking to he replied, “God.” He was still unable to talk for the most part but had been subjected to the Lord and the gospel enough that he had no trouble believing in him at an early age. I believe the first event was simply a visit from his guardian angel. Whoever it was, Tyler saw him and wasn’t the least bit afraid of him and was very comfortable talking to him.

There was also the Talent Show at the end of his first year of sixth grade. At Open House at the beginning of the year, his teacher told us Tyler was going to be in the talent show and sing with her. He wanted to sing “I’ll Fly Away.” The fact he picked a gospel song was a big blessing. The bad part was what I told his teacher. I said “good luck with that.” We had been to every school program that his teachers said he was in throughout elementary school. Time and time again we watched as he either refused to get on stage or just stood there with his class while they did all the work. Little did I know that the talent show was going to be different. Not only was his mom glowing when she related the details to me, but his teacher couldn’t wait to talk about it the next time she saw me. She said that not only was Diane and her crying, but there wasn’t a dry eye in the place. It isn’t every day you get to see an autistic kid step out of his comfort zone in such a dramatic fashion.

I have had some other instances where Tyler shocked me with something he said that I wouldn’t have thought about him saying. Once when we were delivering shoeboxes in McDowell County, we were stacking them on a hand truck and he suddenly grinned and said, “I love this stuff” referring to the work we were doing. Other times while listening to either preaching or gospel music, we would hear him singing along and sometimes even shouting. I know he may have been mimicking to a certain degree but even then you know it comes from his heart.

The best one of all was on a Saturday night in March a few years ago. He had just finished walking the treadmill and proudly got off and proclaimed to his mom that he had just been saved. He had been watching a Gaither Homecoming cd while he was exercising. After asking him all the usual questions you would ask a child, I was convinced that he knew exactly what he was talking about.

Just recently we were driving and out of the blue while listening to music he said, “I like that.” Today he gave me another one of “those moments.” We had just left the credit union and were talking about one of the young ladies there who plays gospel music in her office all the time. Neither of us could remember her name. He made the statement about her; “She’s a gospel music fanatic like I am.”

The reason I wrote this is for those parents, grandparents, or caretakers of children who aren’t behaving quite that way. We are having some issues with Tyler that we never thought we would have concerning church attendance. We have taken him to church all of his life only to have him get to the place where he refuses to go. Sometimes my mom reminds me that God knew about it when he gave him to us to raise.

I know there are a lot of other folks going through similar situations. You have been faithful, kept them in church, taught their memory verses, taught them to sing and love God, only to have them rebel years later for no good reason. As you have to answer endless questions from concerned folks, you are embarrassed and wonder where you failed as a parent. We beat ourselves up a lot with Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” We blame ourselves for their lack of faithfulness all the while taking the verse out of its context. It says when he is old he will not depart from it. It never said they wouldn’t stray and wander off at times. Some of the greatest folks in the bible wandered off but at some point but turned again to the Lord and did great things. Their experiences during that time may humble them and also teach them lessons God couldn’t teach them any other way.

You’re not alone! You hide the pain and doubt behind your best Sunday smile all the while slowly dying inside. What makes it worse is the Devil will call your attention to how bad you failed as a parent and how bad God has let you down. God hasn’t let you down and he will honor his word. You just keep training and doing the best you can to “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4). They might ignore you but they can’t ignore God. So, when those hard times come, don’t give up on them because they might be able to get out of your sight, but they will never get so far that God can’t see them. That is the time you need to think back to easier times as a parent and seek comfort from the Lord and remember all of “Those Moments” from better times. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

https://wordpress.com/post/morningmannaanddailygrace.com/2366

110719                                                        1035

 

PRESCHOOL EDUCATION

PRESCHOOL EDUCATION                                                                                                                  Andy Hollifield 11-12-19
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (ALL SCRIPTURE USED IS KJV)
Sometimes things take a little while to sink in with me. That is not a statement of a lack of intelligence but a lack of belief on my part. I simply cannot comprehend some of the news stories of recent days. I have listened for the last few weeks as alleged sexual predators in high positions have been exposed, poor choice of words I guess, and their deeds have been brought to light. This brings me to Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Some of the gross details of these alleged assaults are stuff that until the last couple of decades would not have been acceptable to be broadcast at all but especially in primetime. I don’t remember conversations about my conduct towards girls, but I just remember knowing that you kept your hands to yourself. I know that one was repeated throughout my childhood but it wasn’t an issue because that was the way I had been raised. I don’t know exactly when it got instilled in me or how, but I just remember knowing how to behave myself.

The apparent reason I would have known this was because my parents did not leave it to chance that I might learn it. They trained me during my formative years. Proverbs 23:13 “Withhold not correction from the child: if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.” I got my hide busted fairly often as a kid, or at least it seemed like it. Mom and dad weren’t ones to “withhold correction” if it was necessary. Can you guess where this education started? It started during preschool. No, I mean pre school. Before I even started school, mom and dad were preparing me to receive instructions. The word “train” implies that I was taught to behave a certain way. I was taught this through repetition. It was not a suggestion that I behave myself but rather a command.

Luke 12:2 contains another preschool lesson that I was trained in before starting school: God knows all things and sees everything you do. “For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.” You talk about making a little young’un take notice. Numbers 32:23 says “But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.” I know these may just be simple truths from God’s word, but they were taught to me before I was old enough to start school. They were taught to me by my parents who weren’t even regular in the church at that time.

Here is another classic of preschool education. “if you can’t say something nice; don’t say nothing at all.” It would seem that here in the last days, we have so-called preachers that have adopted that saying and refuse to declare the whole counsel of God. They refuse to call out sin anymore and just want to say something nice to make everyone feel good and keep the money coming in. As far as the old saying goes, it has biblical roots in James 4:11 “Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.”

So far, we have looked at 1) God knows all things and 2) If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” The third one I want to look at is what we call the golden rule; “do unto others as you would have them to do unto you.” That is covered to an extent in Matthew 5 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”

One more thing I want to cover which is what got me to thinking about this thought. Sportsmanship! At least that is what it was called back in the day. I remember the conversation about sportsmanship real well. Dad told my brother and me that we could try out for baseball. He also preceded to tell us what sportsmanship was. Once we understood it, he explained very clearly that if we weren’t going to be good sports win, lose, or draw; then we weren’t going to play. He said the first time that he saw us not showing sportsmanship, we would be off of the team. No temper tantrums, arguing with the officials, or anything else that is disrespectful would be tolerated.

In 2017, the leading contender for the Heisman Trophy, Baker Mayfield, did some disgusting gestures while looking at the Kansas State sideline after they all refused to shake hands with Oklahoma’s captains during the opening coin toss. While that showed a total lack of respect for the Oklahoma players, there was still no excuse for Mayfield’s behavior.

My purpose in writing this was to hopefully show how fast and how much that time has changed. Mayfield was a college player at the time. I learned about sportsmanship before I started school. I saw in Matthew 5 where it talks about praying for those that despitefully use you and persecute you. Then we have the golden rule and saying something nice about others and nothing is hidden from God. All of these truths I learned before I started school. They were all part of the training I received from my parents. Training not in how to build yourself up to be more important than you really are but how to get along with others. Training in always telling the truth and never lie to dad or mom.

We are seeing a generation of young people slip away because we as parents are refusing to interrupt our lives to train them up in the way they should go. I have to confess that I am one of those that very much misses the times when we respected our elders and minded our manners and cherished the women in our lives. By the way; I didn’t even go to preschool or even kindergarten. I was just trained at home to become a man that my mom and dad could be proud of. Thank God for a pre school education. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

https://wordpress.com/post/morningmannaanddailygrace.com/2381

111917                                                           1107

GREAT SACRIFICES

GREAT SACRIFICES                                                                                                                              Andy Hollifield 11-11-19
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Armistice Day, also called Remembrance Day, was set aside to mark the end of World War 1. November 11th was chosen because the war officially ended the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. That is when the Armistice, or truce with Germany, went into effect. It was one hundred and one years ago today that the first world war ended. This holiday was renamed Veterans Day on May 26th, 1954 by a law signed by Dwight Eisenhower to honor the service of all US military veterans. A veteran named Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama took a delegation to see President Dwight Eisenhower in Washington and talk to the president suggesting changing the name from Armistice to Veterans Day. The idea to change the name was thought of in 1945 by Mr. Weeks. Eisenhower agreed and Weeks led the first national celebration in 1947. He was awarded the Presidential Citizenship Medal by President Reagan in 1982 prior to his death in 1985. He has been called, “The father of Veterans Day.

Veterans Day is not specifically set aside to honor those who gave their lives. That day of honor takes place in May and is called Memorial Day. All veterans are celebrated on Veterans Day regardless of their length of service or whether or not they were involved in combat. Even those not in combat made a great sacrifice to purchase mine and your freedom. They still sacrificed time with their families and put aside their own best interests to serve the interests of others.

As touching a story as this is, our veterans aren’t the first to do that. A sacrifice made for the benefit of others took place near Jerusalem in the first century between 30 and 33 AD. The death took place on a hill called Golgotha. It happened only a week after Jesus made a triumphal entry into Jerusalem to cheering crowds hailing him as king. Jesus had spent the last three-plus of his 33 years healing people of various ailments and disease. He came to earth by way of a virgin birth as the Son of God. He wound up giving his life for the salvation of all who would accept him. He did this so that we, though undeserving, could obtain mercy from God and forgiveness of our sins. He was the one that spoke the verse in John 15:13 to his disciples; “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” His life was so important to mankind that time itself is divided based on the years of his life. The term “B.C.” means before Christ. The initials “A.D.” stand for the Latin words Anno Domini which means “the year of our Lord”.

Jesus spent over 33 years away from his Father which was God. His death purchased our mercy from God just as the death of our veterans purchase and retain the freedom we all enjoy. So as we celebrate in remembrance of the sacrifices and service of military veterans, don’t forget to give thanks to God not only for them but also for the sacrifice of his Son’s life for all of our sins. These veterans determined in their mind that the sacrifices they made for the good of the country were worth making. Jesus determined in his heart before the foundations of the world, that his sacrifices for the good of our souls would be worth all that he would have to go through. In Revelation 5 we can read where he even volunteered to come and be crucified and lay his life down for his friends. I am thankful that he gave me the opportunity to be his friend and was willing to make such “Great Sacrifices” for me. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

https://wordpress.com/post/morningmannaanddailygrace.com/2379

111118                                                 650

A MAN NAMED CLYDE

A MAN NAMED CLYDE                                                                                                                        Andy Hollifield 11-10-19

Proverbs 18:24 “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (KJV)
“Who is that down in the ditch while it is raining?” I wondered to myself. As I turned the corner onto South Elm, I rolled down the window and ask him if he needed a ride. His reply was always the same; “No thank you, I’m going to pick up a few more cans and then call it a day.” I waved as I rolled up the window and went on my way.

Clyde has been a fixture in our little community for years. As a matter of fact, I can’t remember a time when Clyde wasn’t around. When I was just a boy he worked at the corner grocery sweeping and bagging groceries. I remember several times after the baby was born, Clyde would put mom’s bags of groceries in the buggy and push it six blocks to our house. He always told mom she hand plenty to do taking care of the baby and keeping us boys in line. He carried the bags in and mom always gave him a dollar or two for his help. I was always surprised that he even took it but I decided that if I pushed a buggy full of groceries for six blocks, it would be worth every bit of two dollars if not more.

Clyde was an old man when I was just a kid. There were rumors that he didn’t have anything to his name except that little apartment where he lived and other rumors said he still had the first dollar he ever made. I was always told that Clyde’s family was the first black family in town. Things weren’t always as good and cordial as they were now but you would never hear Clyde complain. His mom and dad had passed away when Clyde was young. His dad died of cancer and his mom had a sudden heart attack when he was only in his teens. Clyde had done yard work and odd jobs for anyone that would let him work.

Tragedy seemed to hang over Clyde like a dark cloud. He had been married once and even had a little girl. They had died years ago when a drunk driver ran up on the sidewalk of the corner store where Clyde now worked. I can’t even imagine walking past the spot where my whole world was suddenly taken from me. Talk around town is that it took Clyde nearly a year to pull out of that dark time in his life but since then he was a new man. I asked him once why he was so nice to everybody and always smiled and tipped his hat to everyone. He just smiled and rubbed my head and told me there had been a time in his life that wasn’t so good but everyone in town had come to his aid and shown themselves friendly at a time when he needed them the most. Then, with a puff on his pipe he would say “Son, the good Lawd ‘spects us to do others likes we wants them to do us. I’s jus’ trying to stay on his good side.”

I had always wondered just what made old Clyde tick. He was always out collecting cans when he wasn’t working at the store. I always thought that he couldn’t need money because he didn’t have a car and his little apartment was a room built on the backside of the church where he went. Everyone says the church built it for him after his family was killed. During that year, people carried meals to him. They always fixed extra when cooking for their family so they would have enough to take to Clyde. He became a fixture in the church and it was after he accepted the Lord and was baptized that he pulled himself together and got on with his life.

I had a little time one day so I decided I would follow Clyde as he went to sell his cans. After he sold them, he went back to the store and bought a few cans of food and a loaf of bread and a couple of big bottles of fruit juice and also bought a little bag of Reese Cups. He also picked up a bottle of the raunchiest cough syrup known to man. Mom used to give it to us when we were sick. It always worked but it would make your teeth and tongue want to find a new home. Next, rather than going home, I followed at a distance as he walked down toward the railroad tracks. He crossed the tracks and then went down underneath the bridge where the old county road went over the tracks.

As I watched from a distance, I could see a little girl with long brown hair crawl down from the upper concrete ledge of the bridge and give Clyde the biggest hug her five-year-old arms could give. As I looked a little closer, I could see a bunch of cardboard and what looked like some old ragged blankets and quilts that someone must have pulled from a dumpster somewhere. Tears filled my eyes as I figured out what was going on. Then, I saw a woman sit up from underneath that pile of covers. As I sat there, I could see Clyde sit down and scoot close to her. He then reached in the grocery bag and pulled out the bottle of cough syrup and opened it for the woman to take a swig.

It finally dawned on me. I found out what I came for but could never breathe a word of it at the time. This little girl was in kindergarten and Clyde would sell cans to buy the stuff she needed for school. He also kept them in groceries and medicine when needed. As I moved a little closer while trying to stay out of sight I could hear the woman talking. She was thanking Clyde through a river of tears for all he was doing for her. I put two and two together and figured out the little girl was the woman’s granddaughter. The woman thanked Clyde and told him that if social services ever found out her living conditions, they would come and take the girl from her. Clyde slowly took the lady’s hand and patted it and said, “I know what it’s like to lose and keep losing until everything’s gone. I don’t want that to happen to you and things will get better for you.”

As I eased back up the road to my car, the woman wasn’t the only one with a river of tears. I had found out what made Clyde tick. Clyde wasn’t an old man hoarding a bunch of money. I suspected he was giving it away as fast as he got it. I understood now why he used to take the money from mom when she offered it to him. As I drove away wiping tears from my eyes, I realized I had just seen an example of what godly love really looks like. It looks like a smiling, old, black, gentleman with a huge heart for others. It looks like a man named Clyde. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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