Wait upon the Lord

Robert Brough, in his poem The Tent Makers, has written: Of all the lunacies earth can boast The one that must please the devil the most

Is pride reduced to whimsical terms

Of causing the slugs to despise the worms!

God has made of one flesh all men to dwell on the face of the earth, but we refuse to live as brothers.

Marcus Bach tells about visiting Stanley Reser, a friend of his who lived on the island of Haiti. Stanley had lived on the island among the Negro people for over thirty years. He spoke Creole fluently and was an authority on the music, song and folklore of the Haitian peasants. Those who knew him respected and loved him very much.

It was a sultry afternoon. As the two men walked down one of the winding streets, they became aware that a gang of hostile blacks who did not know Stanley was trailing them. They were swearing and shouting in Creole, “You dirty whites!”

Stanley whispered to Marcus, “Don’t look around; just keep walking.” But they were getting closer and closer and their voices grew louder and angrier. The gang was right on their heels. There were six of them in all and one giant of a man who seemed to be the leader had a jagged scar across his right cheek.

Suddenly Stanley stopped, spun around and faced their antagonists. Calmly he raised his hand and spoke in Creole. His words stopped the gang in their tracks. The big fellow stepped back and fell on his knees, clasping his hands together in an attitude of prayer.

As the two friends turned and walked away, Marcus asked in amazement, “Stanley, what in the world did you say to them?” Stanley smiled, “I said to them, ‘Why do you taunt me by calling me white? Can I help it if God ran out of color before he got around to making me?’”

Humility and a sense of humor had saved the day and won the battle. These are qualities all of us can use in the midst of life’s emergencies. In the book of Proverbs are to be found these words:

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” And the Apostle Peter advises: “Clothe yourself with humility, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Rev. Nichols is Minister Emeritus of First Christian Church, Temple, where he was senior minister for 23 years. He writes a religious column for several newspapers.

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2013-07-25 digital edition

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