by Bonnie Jefferson
If anyone had ever mentioned that I should write a column on some “religious” matter, I would probably have knocked them into next week! But in the last six months many things have occurred in my life to bolster what little faith I had, not only in God but in my fellow man and woman.
This time last year I was adequately financially well off. Not rich of course but I had the money to do what I wanted do, within reason. I made a rather large investment that didn’t go that well. Instead of producing income for me, it literally sucked away all the money I had. Whose fault was that? Of course it was mine. But it seemed that no matter how hard we all worked, we were just not breaking even but we persevere anyway.
So near the end of the summer I found myself quite broke, trying to live on less than $900 in social security which didn’t come close to paying the bills. Well, it did pay for power, the phone, car and life insurance, and a small car payment. It didn’t leave much for food or gas and nothing for fun. I broke down and applied for food stamps and received them. But you know you can’t even get toilet paper with food stamps!
I really didn’t know what I was going to do. I asked God why this had happened to me and to PLEASE give me some idea of how to fix this. Of course I didn’t get an answer. But then, maybe I did. I work with a volunteer group of ladies at my church and one day, when we were working, on the ladies came up behind me and stuck her hand in my pocket and said “don’t look until you leave”. I couldn’t imagine what she had stuck in there. After we finished I went home I did look. There was a $20 bill! I desperate need gas and food to give my kitties and there it was. I stood in my living room and cried.
What a wonderful thing she had done for me and I thanked God of the assist. A week or so later another friend handed me $10 for gas too. I went to Woodall’s for the gas and had to pay inside. My car is old and gets lousy mileage so I have to be careful how much driving I have to do. I went back out to pump the gas and as I was done, this nice young man who had just finished pumping as into his nice shiny new pick-, walked over and said “don’t hang up the hose”. He proceeded to put his credit car in the pump, took the hose away from me and pumped another $20 into my car! I literally cried when I thanked him and hugged him. I didn’t know there were people like that in the world.
And so it’s gone for the last few months. Every time I et totally stressed about where the next few gallons or pounds of cat food are coming from, someone does something wonderful for me! It is still a shock to me that there really ARE angels all around us all the time. And they all were miracles. Not big miracles but to me, they meant the world and are indeed great miracles!
The other miracle which in a way was more monumental to me happened around the end of September or early October. Sorry, I am old and no longer very good with dates! Someone I had known for quite a while invited me to a revival at Bethel A.M.E Church. Well, I’m not black. I’ve never been to a black church before except for a couple of funerals.
I wasn’t going to go. But something kept on pushing at me until I finally got dressed and drove down to Washington Street and went to church!
Rev. Garrett Andrew of First Presbyterian Church was assisting with the revival, alone with Rev.. Davis, pastor of Bethel. Never met Garrett before. still haven’t actually “met” him but we have become good Facebook friends and he writes columns for the Journal too.
I was quite moved by the service and was really glad I went. The next day, I told some of my church friends how much I enjoyed the service and that I was going back that night. Now in all my years I’ve never been to more than one night of a revival. Frankly, I found them boring. This one though was anything but boring!
One of the ladies from my church came that Tuesday night and we sat together. That night they did something they didn’t do the night before. There was an altar call. I’ve been to quite a few churches where there was an altar call but I certainly never answered one!
So there I was glued to my seat as we waited for someone to walk down to the altar. I felt a shove on my shoulder and I turned to see no one behind me. I turned back around and felt the shoving again. Then, I heard a whisper in my ear, “get up and go”. Well, I was getting aggravating by now and turned again but there was no one there. Suddenly I felt like I HAD to get up. I whispered to my friend that I had a feeling I should go. She said “then you should go!”
At this point I should mention that I’ve had one knee replaced and was in desperate need of having the other done. Anyway, I got up, and with my cane helping me, I hobbled to the altar. By the time I arrived, I realized there was water on my face. It finally dawned on me that I was crying. When I reached the altar, I saw there was a kneeling rail. I looked at it and that to myself, “not on THIS knee”. But then I felt like I was pushed to my knees. Again no one was behind me. A lady at the altar gave me tissues and put a comforting hand on my shoulder as I just balled.
You see, the hands I felt pushing me and the whispering in my ear was God. The God I had always sort of believed in. And I continued to cry, partly because I didn’t see how I could get back up and hobble out of the church on my bad knee that I was kneeling on. The preaching at the altar went on and on and I kept asking God to make that man hush! My knee just couldn’t take it. But God was suddenly very silent. Finally, Rev. Davis finished and it was time to get up. The lady with me offered to help me get up. I thanked her politely but said I could do it. And I really believed I could get up unassisted. And that’s what I did!
I still used the cane to leave the church and get to my car but for some strange reason my knee wasn’t killing me. It didn’t even hurt as bad as it had when I arrived!
Since then, I have only used my cane for help a couple of times.
So you see, the last few months of my life have been a series of miracles and one BIG miracle. I’ve been walking with a cane most of the time for the last 4 or 5 years and now I’m not using it.
The last few months have renewed my faith in people but most especially in God. God is Real. God is Good! And God LOVES me!!
Bonnie Jefferson is retired from the Human Resources profession and is part owner of the Albany Journal.