A highlight of my year was encountering my preaching professor from Wesley Theological Seminary, Dr. William Bobby McClain, a joyful ending to a delicious meal at Cracker Barrel. We might have spoken a little longer had either of us known it would be the last time. What a choice between singing, which he loved, and preaching, which he was; when he found himself on Nov. 18, in the place his heart had dreamed of and longed to see. (Courtesy photo)

By Dorothy Boulware
AFRO Managing Editor

I’ve walked with the Lord for more years than you might think, because faith came to me at a young age. And at the tender age of 70, I’ve had blessings that brought joy, bubbles that brought grace and miracles that brought overwhelming peace. And I’ve had surprises, upheavals, tragedies and tsunamis.

But I’ve never encountered anything, in any 12-month package that resembled what we’ve experienced in 2020. And I have to tell you I’m “cussing” mad at the system and governmental leadership, the politicians that rest on their wealth and their connections, while they left us out to dry – fully exposed to disease that could have been avoided, without the medical intervention and financial assistance that could have made a heck of a difference. I told you I was cussing mad.

So in addition to the friends who leave you for glory – too many to count – in a regular year, my heart’s been broken multiple times by the severe illness and death of people near and dear, and those I’ve never met.

And, in addition to the faith I embrace, I’ve been overtaken with the insistent sadness that intrudes my peaceful moments with the rude awakening that this is a time unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

And when that happens, I’m reminded by my ALL that is holy, to be still, be more aware of his presence; and breathe. And as I do, I am filled with that which is so much more than I could ever be without him. And I’m reminded to be grateful. Grateful for the family members and friends who are thriving and surviving. Be grateful for the ones who have been touched, but not ended by the virus. Be grateful for the frontline workers. Bank tellers. Grocery check out persons. Fast food servers. DoorDash drivers. Post office clerks. Grateful for the perfectly well children who stay away because they have frontline jobs and wouldn’t dare unknowingly infect their parents. Although they hate staying away. Although we hate their staying away.

Grateful for the people, the fraternities and sororities, community groups and families, churches, synagogues, mosques and singular saints who’ve consistently distributed food so our neighbors can eat. Grateful for these same people who’ve distributed the best of everything on the wishlists, so our neighboring children can have an extraordinary Christmas.

Grateful to God for reminding me to breathe and appreciate every breath. Grateful to God who prepares me and propels me into 2021 with a renewed determination to live large in him and walk worthy of his calling on my life.

Stay safe,
Rev. Dorothy Boulware
AFRO Managing Editor