Several years ago, I was going through a very tough time, overwhelmed with problems in nearly every area of my life. Financially and emotionally, especially, I was suffering when it was apparent that nothing could be done to save my home, my time was nearly up living in it and it was time to move on and start a new chapter in my life. Well, coming up with thousands of dollars to move and trying to find the time to make it all happen in between working two jobs must have been taking a toll on me. I was under so much pressure and didn’t have enough money to really pull it all off smoothly. I thought I was holding myself together rather well and it keeping a calm exterior. One night, I realized that at least one student had really seen through me and saw I was in really bad straights. This student, Marion, and I had clicked right away. She has a light about her, her personality is like a breath of fresh air on a sunshiny day after a dismal winter. You can’t help but get caught up in her and feel your spirit lifting when you’re with her. She has a joy and enthusiasm for life that is contagious. I knew that she was a genuine, caring and thoughtful person but what she did for me nearly made me weep tears of gratitude. Maybe I even did. I was so shocked I can’t exactly recall. So, what did this angel student do? She showed up at school one night and asked me to come outside with her, that she had something to give me. It was bags and bags of food. It was a gift, a vision to soothe my worry and fear: delicious, fresh, healthy food! I couldn’t believe my good fortune. I literally didn’t know how we were going to eat that week. God did though. He knew. And he used Marion to not only stock our pantry, fridge and freezer but also to renew my faith. I had been feeling so down, feeling sorry for myself and wondering if life would ever get better. It seemed at that time to be on a steady slope downhill with no hope of making it back up the hill. But Marion was an answer to my prayers. She fed us physically and spiritually. My son couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw that first delivery and all the weekly subsequent ones that followed. Through her, I found sustainace and my faith was reborn. Timothy, my son, always possessed a strong faith but I think his was boosted also. My life quickly changed after she came into my life. Problems I had seen no solution for seemed to magically drift away. They say God can move mountains, well he sure did during those times for me. Marion taught me without even meaning to probably. She just did what comes naturally to her, she saw someone who needed help and she gave it. I learned to be more patient and faithful. God has a plan. We just need to wait and keep on doing the best we can do while that plan unfolds.
I’ll never forget Marion and am glad that we are still in touch. Right now, my heart bleeds for her and her family. You see, Marion is a godly woman. She and her husband devote their lives to spreading the word and love of God, helping addicts learn to life a clean, wholesome life. They have touched hundreds of lives and done countless good deeds. But tragedy has struck a cruel blow in their lives. Sadly, two of Marion’s cousins were killed in the South Carolina church last week. Her cousins and all the members of the church don’t see life in terms of black and white. They see so much more, like love and opportunity to do good deeds to glorify God. Any white person can go to any black church and get received with wide, welcoming arms. Can white people say the same? If one lone black man walks into a 100% white congregation during their bible study, will he immediately, without any hesitation, get a warm welcome to join them?
I think America needs to take a closer look at the black Christian community and take out a notepad and a pen. It’s time to learn from them. They embrace all people, regardless of race or class, who need a helping hand. Let them be our teachers. Let them be our inspiration for change.
With ever lasting gratitude, respect, admiration and affection for Marion Adair, with sympathy and heartfelt condolences for her family and those of all the victims of the shooting, I write these words. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.