Please Know...

As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Titles and Testimonies


Dr. Tony Campolo has a sermon that he calls " Titles and Testimonies."  It's a powerful message about people from the Bible who had impressive titles such as king, queen, etc and yet did not necessarily have an impressive testimony.  Dr. Campolo compares these impressively titled people with less titled individuals who made a powerful difference in the lives of those around them.

His message has come to my mind during this time of physical isolation from people in my life and has taken a blog inspiring twist.

As I've sat here alone in my apartment, I've called the people closest to me and yet not ever been called back by them.[1]  There are two non-relative exceptions to this sad reality which brought Dr. Campolo's message to mind. 

These two people have a title thrust upon them by circumstances beyond most of their control.  They would rather not have this title nor its derivatives.  It's a title that is used to entrap them within their own minds and society's beliefs of them as being "less than" or "not worthy of" and more.  It's a title most often times heard as one of shame and disgrace and sin. 

And yet, day after day during these weeks of isolation, each one calls or texts with a simple "How r u?" or a detailed story of what's happening in their lives and asks me about what's happening in mine.

My 'title' at my employment is "Driver."  Yours might be a teacher, custodian, doctor, mail carrier, pharmacist, truck driver, chef…

It's how we earn our money that is our societal 'title.'  It is not who we are. 

Each and every one of us is a human being who has been made in the image of God and who is worthy of the highest dignity, honor, respect, and love.  That's our actual and factual title AND testimony.

Due in very large part to the incompetence of the Medicaid system to provide the care that they need and deserve and want as they try to find the end of their dark tunnel of entrapment in their Substance Use Disorder, these two people who contact me multiple times throughout each day bear their societal forced title. 

On top of that societal violation, too many members of the nursing and medical community routinely violate the Hippocratic oath upon which they individually swore or affirmed their career. 

The end result for these two blog inspiring people is that they are left feeling trapped by walls of apathy and indifference, incompetence and loathing by the highly titled people who could make a positive difference in their lives.

These two people of whom I speak in this blog will read this.  (One of them has texted me "What's Up?" as I've been writing this.)  I apologize to each of you in advance for putting in print the titles that have been forced upon you by the incompetence of our society and the highly titled people therein.

Society too often titles you "prostitute" and more.  I title you "Friend" because of your testimony, that of reaching out beyond yourself. 

Far more importantly than what I title you, God, the creator of everything that has ever been, is and will be, calls you God's child:

John 1:12   
Yet to all who did receive him, 
to those who believed in his name, 
he gave the right to become children of God.

I'm thankful to God for the gift of both of you in my life.

Peace Always,

Chris



[1] With the exception of my sister