By Ginny Hayman
We were made for each other. God crated us to be dependent on Him and each other. My daughter says that when a baby is born, it should go from womb to breast, from breast to chest, from chest to arms, from arms to hands, and then to shoulders. As the child continues to grow, he should receive a generous number of affirming pats on the back. When the child walks across the threshold of the family home into the world and stretches out his own hand, it should be to give the world another helping hand, not looking for a hand out. In other words, a real man or woman ready to shape his or her world as a giver and not a taker.
In Genesis 4:9, God asks Cain, “Where is Abel, your brother?” The question needed not an answer for it was the answer. We prove that question everyday as we drive through our city and see the bars on houses and security signs in yards. We highlight the fact that we are trying to “keep our brothers out.” When we receive our paychecks or are asked to vote on a SPLOST referendum, we know that we are trying to keep our brothers “in place”.
Again, I believe my daughter’s insight is correct. We should value children so much that when they step across the threshold into adulthood, they are ready to take their place in the world. No laws will need to be passed to tell them what to do because it is written on their hearts and minds. In essence, their very souls. When you and I realize that w have what we have because of our attitudes, and actions, and the One who asked the first question concerning our relationships to others. Then we can become the people who will begin the process of taking our city back by doing “the right thing.”
I grew in a sharecropper’s home and we had one standard, “No one went hungry for long if the neighbors knew about it, and no one was homeless because the community would do something about it.” We were all a part of the F.B.I. – the Family Bureau of Investigation – and they would check things out. Even to the point of putting people and families back together and telling as well as showing them what was expected. The Christian men and women of the community helped their neighbors with food, necessities and Godly counsel long before there was welfare or the need for police intervention. We were our brother’s helper.
I began walking the streets of this city in 1972 and praying. I am still doing that and I know that the darker things are, a little light shines brighter and brings welcomed warmth. Many opportunities are afforded to us to come together and pray. I would like to make you aware of two of these in this community: The Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, Feb. 17, and the National Day of Prayer on May 5. What if every church in Albany secured a table for the Mayor’s breakfast or came to stand with others in the community for the National Day of Prayer to say “we are for this city and for these people who serve us whether we voted for them or not”? 1 Timothy 2:1-4 has much to say about that. “First, I tell you to pray for all people, asking God for what they need and being thankful to him. Pray for rulers and for all who have authority so that we have quiet and peaceful lives full of worship and respect for God. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to know the truth.” If those who are supposed to be right would do right for righteousness sake, all others would come to be cared for and to know Jesus.
It is our city, our county, our community, our state and our nation and we are put here by God to make a difference. We are not here just for ourselves but for each other. As distinct and special as Sundays are (and they should be), what about the other six days? What about what takes place on our streets, in our homes, schools, and work places on Mondays? We will one day give an account of our actions, words and thoughts and every day we are given the opportunity to write that story in the book of life. What will your story say about you and how you lived your life? The Lord Jesus Christ gave us a very simple mandate – You go, you give, you live and “Lo, I am with you always (present tense)”. What will I do with that? What will you do with that?
(The author is an Albany resident.)