Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Come as you are~~~~~~~~

My, Home Town~and the remembrances of the 1950's with my sister, my mom and my dad.  The horrors I felt and the joys of being a southern girl in a wonderful family but a hard time for us all.

A picture of the gathering place of the blacks at the beach in Charleston, SC

with my daughter and her son, my grandson.

Until this day I still cry at the mention of the black/white days in my childhood in my hometown of Attalla, Alabama.  I remember it like it was yesterday... the news of churches being burned.  People being hung.  People loosing their lives and hoping for something better to come for black and whites alike.

I am not clear as what was really in my mind as a child.  I did not witness these events but it was talked about.  We had a black and white television set then, we called it,  but I don't even remember seeing the news on these horrible events.  My parents were very protective of me.

Since those years, long ago, we all have no doubt seen movies and news reports on what actually happened.  I am sure some stories are still being told of good things even, that happened way back then.  My experiences went something like this...

I always have had a heart for my black friends.  Even to this day, they are an active part in my families life.  Our black friends are a part of our family in many ways.  They care for us, counsel us.  We laugh together.  We have had victories together.  There are times we grieve together.  Just recently was a heart break for us all as our dear friend suffered a great loss.

I don't exactly remember, as a child,  having a specific young black friend.  We lived in an all white neighborhood.  That is just the way it was.  Blacks and white separate.  That was the battle for freedom for our brothers and sisters to have liberty as we whites did.  We lived in an old army camp ground.  I don't remember having a friend on the bus.  As the young blacks were separated from the whites on the school bus.  On the city buses.  It was a sad day to me as we were not allowed to be seated together.

I remember the owners and officials  closing down the soda fountain at the local drug store.  Because of integration, blacks and whites.  I remember seeing pictures of the hangings in movies.  Nights we sat watching news of the riots.  I know there was a horror during that time and a fear for all.  Blacks and whites.  We were not all responsible.  There were those who hated the blacks.

I remember riding the school bus to school when in elementary school.  Later we drove to school. My family and my friends.

Mom and dad had a shoe store down from a black neighborhood. Those ladies and men used to come into the tiny store my parents owned and built from nothing.  My sister runs the family business now. She is a good business woman, like my mom.   I am so proud of her and her family for carrying on the family heritage of serving the community, charities, and family as they do.  She has such love and care as my parents did.  I am till this day, proud to be an Anderson, a Ford, an American Citizen and a godly christian woman.  One who loves God and loves people because He first loved me.  Not perfect by any means... just me.

When I was young...I remember a black lady working for mom, dad, my sister and I.  My sister was not in school at that time.  I remember coming home and the lady friend, ironing.  My mom baking homemade chocolate pies and cakes for us all.  We were a family.  We really did not have much of anything during those  years.  I remember knowing the blacks all  had even less than we did.   My dad worked two jobs when he was out of work.  He was a TV repairman and also a milkman.  Once they started the shoe store my mom ran the business.  My dad traveled away on weekends.  He would sleep in the car at the business.  To be first in line to buy closeouts.  To sell at a record price and it all paid off.  They became a success in our little town of Attalla.  All the big name stores respected and tried to compete with mom and dad.  But could not.  They were a team and I and my sister were proud as I am still now.

We loved the lady who came to our home and worked with my mom.  She loved us so well.

The blacks, I remember, swept their yards with a broom.  I remember how clean some of the front yards were then.  They were my friends from afar and near.  In Virginia where we lived, the blacks were much better than most of us whites as far as education.  They were unbelievably smart, intelligent that is.  That seemed to make a man better in those days and even now.  My how we put a value on a person.  God says we are valuable because we are His.  His children, free, loved and forgiven.  How behind we were in seeing through Gods eyes His love for mankind.  We still are.  All of us in the value of a person, especially I believe, in the heart of the South.  If a person can grasp who they are in Christ and what Jesus did for them at the cross there would be no guilt, shame, fear or prejudice.

In Heaven we are all loved as firstborns.  Our Father loves us as much as He loves Jesus, His only begotten Son.  May we trust Him and be obedient and repent  Let's not take grace for granted, as I have.  But work till the night is coming.

Let's remember those old black gospel hymns... where the blacks... could not remove themselves from the hard slavery they were in.  They remembered heaven in their hearts and minds to keep pressing on with great joy!  To this day those heroes of the faith,  speak to my heart.  My daughter has listened to the gospel songs on Sunday.  They are still speaking to us from the grave and bringing us back to the freedom that was fought for in the Civil War.  That we are free!  All we have to do is believe the gospel and live out of that freedom.

 It is my prayer that we do not give in to our fears and weaknesses.  We serve God and love others until we can no longer physically or mentally do so.  For me...This is important issues.  So important I am willing to write as best I can remember.

God sees people of great worth and value.   He loves His children no matter what...their color.   Neither should be bothered by a persons color or give them value according to this worlds standards.  We are His most valued creation.  All of us.

May we love each other as He loves us.  Jesus was a Jew.  He did not have black, nor white skin.  He was amongst the sinners.  The prostitutes, the thieves, the tax collectors, and all kinds of sinners like you and me.  He loved them to repentance.  He ask them to come to Him, just as they were.  He ask us today to come.  Then, to go and sin no more.  We all do sin of course... but we shall turn from going our own way.  Turn to trusting in Christ and Christ alone...It is finished.

I hope this resonates with your heart in this time in history.   That we sense the urgency in families, our homes, and marriages to love unconditionally.  That our churches have a boldness to reach out.  See color and love each other, no matter what our economic status or educational degrees or our differences maybe.  To minister to the hurting and the broken, the mentally and physically sick, the dying of the families in our culture today.  That we would minister to those whose hearts are breaking, no matter what the reason maybe.  To speak the truth in love.  In kindness and gentleness and humility.  To trust Jesus for our sins and love Him with all our hearts.  To have a passion to make disciples and spread the gospel.  We are the righteousness of Christ in Him.  It is finished.

Free in CHRIST!