September 21, 2016
I’m tired. I am drained, mentally. My emotional state can’t even be encouraged to be elevated higher than zero. In fact, I’m more likely to go into the negative. My spirit has the stomach flu, passed on to me by a sick country, poisoned by its leaders who simply don’t care for the people of color. This is no different from that which Martin Luther King, Jr fought against. His answer to the Eight Alabama Clergymen in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was this: “I am in Birmingham because injustice is here.” The acts of certain law officers in this year alone, are no different from the acts of the KKK, in King’s time. Truth is truth. Unfortunately, truth is of no value in today’s society. Who will be our modern day King?
I’m angry. I’m angry at our country and its government. I don’t think it’s necessary to explain why. This anger, burning in my chest, is the same fire that burned within me as a kid, growing up in Eight Mile, Alabama. There were times when white kids would cut through our neighborhood to get to “the store”. Often times, they’d walk through, shouting “Nigger this!” & “Nigger that!” There were days we didn’t bother. Yet, there were days, the right days for us/the wrong days for them, when we’d give chase. When we’d catch up to them, we’d express our disdain for their choices of words when expressing their right to free speech. We’d do so with varying styles of poetic punches, and multiple brands of shoe soles. It was what it was, growing up in the deep South.
I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed after sitting through a highly biased and politically driven sermon on Sunday morning. It was full of calculated, emotion stirring, and amen-drawing words, but here’s the subliminal message, obviously missed by the spiritually and intellectually shallow: “Hate the gays! Screw Kaepernick! Vote Trump!” Then, this preacher calls for the congregation to stand and recite the pledge of allegiance, as though it’s of utmost importance, IN CHURCH! I’m sorry, you poor excuse for a man of God! My allegiance is to the God you claim to serve and represent. I’m sure He is not highly pleased with your ignorant misuse of His platform! I am totally for the separation of Church and State, but prefer that the State’s leaders go to church and serve this country with equity. Then, most of what we are dealing with wouldn’t be issues at all, but only if our leaders served God.
Now, yesterday, I googled the Bill of Rights. I copied and pasted it into a Word document. After many of the amendments, I added statements like “unless they’re black,” “except for black folks,” “unless dealing with black people,” etc. Also, on yesterday, I took the same approach to the scriptures used in so many messages and sermons. I added “unless you’re dealing with black folks” to many of the messages on love and proper treatment of our neighbors. Actions always speak louder than words. Actions are also evidence of the hearts residing within people. These words, in the Bill of Rights, proclaiming the rights of all of America’s citizens, are bull hockey compared to the actions of those sworn to uphold the laws of this land. Not all cops are bad. Not all judges are bad. Not all government officials are bad. But, if you find one seriously sickening apple among your bunch, do you not look at all the others with tainted vision? Do you risk opening your mouth, accepting the others as fine and dandy, and for the nourishment of your body? We need a new bag of apples Babe!
Subtlety does not lessen the destructive force of a demon. Subtlety does not quell the killing power of poison. Subtlety DOES allow these demons and poisons into the hearts of the uneducated, unintelligent, and simple. Then suddenly they manifest themselves as aliens of evil, bursting forth through the chests of the idiots on which they’ve preyed. The simple are often and always taken advantage of, but after a certain age, ignorance, lack of intelligence, and lack of wisdom are all choices.
This message was in a totally different form, when I shared my feelings with the Love of my life on yesterday. She simply said, “You’re better than that, Baby! You are capable of articulating your feelings in ways, unlike those of the fools on social media. You’re better than that!”
With love in my heart and passion for truth,
Bryan Hollomon Williams
Synonyms of "About" are near, nearby, around, regarding, and concerning. In the case of Bobby Millsap Jr, I like to imagine that he consumed the Word, as he would his breakfast every day, taking it down into his innermost parts. Therefore, his being existed about the Word, around the Word, regarding the Word. I hear his soul speaking Psalms, saying, "Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You." I can only speak from my knowing Bobby, and my experiences in time spent sitting next to him, in candid conversation. The Word lived in him, as it should in all of us.
In December 2008, after living in Birmingham for over 10 years, my family and I moved back to Eight Mile, Alabama. The kids were enrolled at Indian Springs, starting after Christmas break. This is where I met Bishop Bobby Millsap Jr., sitting outside, waiting for the kids to be dismissed. I am not even sure how our first conversation started but it became an every day thing for us to simply sit and talk. Many of our conversations found their ways to the Spiritual, to the Word, and to God, but I never knew the man was a pastor. He had even invited me to check out his church, but never stated that he was the pastor of the church. I never made it to visit. I never saw him preach. I never heard an official sermon of his, but I heard his heart on many days of just sitting in his presence outside an old elementary school, waiting on our youngans.
To be a man about the Word, is to have the Word of God, so ingrained in you that it dictates your life, your actions, your lifestyle, and every word that passes from your soul, across your lips, and to the ears and hearts of those willing to listen. This, to me, was Bobby Millsap Jr. The last real conversation I had with the Bishop was on April 23, 2013, via Facebook. We spoke briefly, but as always he spoke to me at a time I truly needed to hear from him; what God had put on his heart to share. That last conversation prompted the following post to my blog: http://www.hollomonspeaks.com/hollomon-speaks/fire-inside. He was always right on time with the Word!
I was Bobby's neighbor:
"He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’" -Luke 10:27-
"Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." -Romans 13:10-
"Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up." -Romans 15:2-
"Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body." -Epphesians 4:25-
I experienced the Word of God, in every interaction I've ever had with the Bishop. Again, I say, Bishop Bobby Millsap Jr. was a man about the Word!! I admired is heart and his soul. Most of all, I admired his humble spirit. It's not every day that you befriend a pastor who makes no effort to proclaim or allude to his position in ministry. He was not boastful or prideful like many ministers I've come to know. Bobby Millsap Jr. is definitely in the top tier of most revered and respected men of God in my life. I thank God for the blessing of knowing Bobby. I am grateful for every moment spent with him. May he rest in heaven, and I pray that strength and joy is yet found in the hearts of his loved ones, at this time of loss. Amen.
Bryan Hollomon Williams