“For we live by faith, and not by sight.” 2 Cor. 5:7, NIV
“A Faith Worth Keeping!”
Upon hearing some sad news, the other day, my mind and spirit flashed back to a pleasant encounter I had at an outbound passenger gate in a Charlotte, North Carolina airport. I had left a mid-winter denominational meeting in South Carolina, and was waiting to board a connecting flight back east to Boston. On that beautiful winter morning, I sat across from two African American men; one graced with the strength and dignity of a griot-elder; while the other bore the energy, intellect, and charisma of a successive generation. The two men were the quintessence of a father and son; not by physical birth; but occasioned by race, heritage, and faith. Men of ebony hue, born in a nation they loved, but did not always love them back. I had a front row seat to our-story; one of defying evil and unjust systems. They were the jewels of our African crown, shining in a tarnished America. They had preached from the same pulpit. Lead the same flock. Each was a consummate educator, civic leader, and exemplar of faith. Champions of justice, who did not mince their words before the Pharaohs and Herods of America. They also became advisors to presidents, governors, and mayors; not to enrich themselves, but to provide their people with jobs, housing, businesses, and food. They saw the “good” in people of goodwill; and they prophetically challenged those who were, as the old poet said, “the lesser of men.” They inherited a tradition, that believed if one “keeps the faith,” you will succeed. They embodied in life what the Apostle said of such souls, “For we live by faith and not by sight.” The NLT says, “We live by believing and not by seeing.” This age of dissonance and defiance will soon pass; but we, through faith will live. The just will live by faith. This is what the two great men I sat across from in that airport terminal believed. Samuel Dewitt Proctor and Calvin Otis Butts sat there; providentially, to remind me and others, that we too will make it if we keep the faith! Each has parted his cross for his crown. That rich moment in time is etched in my soul.