Saturday, October 12, 2013
This past week as I was sitting in a Southwestern Airlines jet at 40,000 feet, I thought of "Little Brother". While I cannot remember exactly how he got his nickname, "Little Brother," I do know there was nothing little about the man. He was tall and likely got the basketball coach's eye during high school. The nickname might have started out as a family thing, but by the time I made it to Talbotton to be his pastor, it was the name that everyone used. He had a birth certificate name, but if it had been used, few would have known it. Why did this man from the past suddenly come to mind at 40,000 feet? "Little Brother" had a small airplane which he flew from a grass strip near his house and he gave me my very first airplane ride. It was unforgettable to see my house and town from the vantage point he provided.
My past is littered with people like "Little Brother." Doretha baked us a rum fruitcake which had so much rum in it that it was intoxicating just to smell it. Charlie cooked a turkey for the church supper and forgot to clean out the insides first. John, an air traffic control guy, sang "Cornerstone" and to this day, I can hear that rich deep voice resonating through the sanctuary. C.M. wanted the choir to sing "Dixie" after a stirring choir rendition of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Mrs. Essie provided us a garden spot and gave up her subscription to "The Wesleyan Christian Advocate" in order to give to a mission fund.
Of course, my past is no different than anyone's. All of us have memorable people in it whose lives were lived midst the ordinary. Yet, these ordinary folks touched our lives in memorable ways and from time to time, remembering, calling their names, and giving thanks to God for them and the many others just like them seems like the only right thing to do. And, who knows? Some day after the sun has set on our life, someone may remember some ordinary act of kindness we offered, count it extraordinary, and give thanks to God for us.