3 black men
The first black man I met was in Singapore. He was stationed in Singapore on a Royal Armed Forces assignment when Singapore was part of the British Commonwealth. He had his family of wife and three beautiful daughters. He attended my church every Sunday and was a wonderful example of a Christian, husband and father He gave me a very positive attitude to black men.
My second encounter with a black man was in New York. I was between assignments in London and my boss said take a month off to travel the United States and return to London for the next assignment. I had a wonderful cross country trip by then Trailways from San Francisco, visiting the Grand Canyon, the Kennedy Space Centre to witness the first space shuttle take off, then through Texas to watch the “donkeys” working as the sun rose and finally to New York prior to returning to work in London. Just a few hours in the afternoon and night before leaving and I stayed at a Howard Johnson motel near a Trailways depot. I left the motel in afternoon light and wondered the streets of New York knowing it would be easy to return to my motel as the streets are numbered. However, I had forgotten how quickly the sun would set and dusk fell unexpectedly quickly. I found myself in an unrecognizable world. I lost my bearing and way and was panicking and breathing a prayer for wisdom as i headed back to the motel. Suddenly, I heard foot steps behind me. I turned and who did I see? Fear gripped my heart and I practically ran as he chased me. I found a snake oil seller demonstrating to a crowd and I mingled in the crowd for about ten minutes. He was not visible , I was naive, and I stepped out of the crowd to complete my return to motel. His footsteps followed me. Thank God He was with me and directed my steps to the hotel just in time before the wicked man caught me! That changed my perspective.
Several years later, I was sent to attend a conference at Florham Park. I was to land at Kennedy airport then hop on a helicopter that will take me to Florham Park via Newark. Unfortunately helicopters were not flying that day due to inclement weather. My option was to hire a limousine to Florham Park. A stretch limousine presented itself and the uniformed driver quoted me a price less than the helicopter ride. Well he looked like the first black man I had come to know earlier on so fearlessly I hopped into the limousine. He said he would bring me to Florham Park in not too long. He invited me to help myself to drinks in the little cooler and be relaxed with a cool towel. So I did, However 3 then 4 hours went by and i asked him when we would arrive at my hotel in Florham Park. He said soon.. but I knew he was lost as he had stopped by to ask a policeman and then another for the way to Florham Park. Of course my prayer wheels were turning. It was not till after we visited a cemetery and asked a few teenagers there that we finally got to the hotel at around 8pm that evening. The driver had mistaken Florham Park for Floral Park! He was a gentleman and kind. He told me to check in to the hotel and he would be fine – probably sleep in the car for the night and head home next day. I gave him a tip for his dinner. Whew, the Lord was my Keeper I am sure. Thanks be to Him I was able to land safely at the hotel and attend the conference the next day.
Only God knows the hearts of the people we meet along life’s way. Some need the Lord and some have found the Lord. May we be people who have found God and exemplify His ways.