Something was wrong. My otherwise un-intruded childhood witnessed my dark-colored friend, Daniel, mistreated. The uneasiness covered me like a cloud sliding underneath the sun, suppressing its light, his and mine, too.
The memory cuts through me, washing date and time away but leaving in its wake scattered and formless emotions that drift through every subconscious rise of pronouns like I, we, they, mine, us, he and she, attempting to explain away and make sense of something senseless. I learned what wrong was. I witnessed its palpable presence shroud good men with irrational reasons. Daniel, working to serve but treated as subservient, endured in me.
Over and over again I experienced in every context life presented the same wrong and the same failed justification. Mom and Granny never got along. Maybe she wasn’t good enough for Dad or perhaps Granny couldn’t let go of her son or just two strong women couldn’t admit wrong. My best recall says Mom’s pound cake and Granny’s ambrosia never shared the same table.
When hero-worship brightened my early teen years, I began to sense up again. My mentor, Jack, the pro at my home club, encouraged my golf and opened me to a wider world. Jack enabled me to do things I would not have tried, sipping gin and tonics included. With his encouragement, I began to get my legs underneath me. The club had been through a few pros. I thought Jack would be there forever. Nope. Nada. No chance. Things went south over a disagreement and Jack left. The way of the world darkened my perspective again.
My bright hope, my granddaughter A.A., describes the stars in heaven as “up above,” as in up above the world so high. She will one day discover the same wrong her Deacon did below heaven. I hope I’m there to explain it to her. I will tell her history is not alone in repeating itself and undergirding every echoed action, at the heart of our willful pride, is a malformed fear about tomorrow and sometimes people commit their soul to the how-to store selling wrong.
Discussing her discovery, I will remind her of a day long ago when an up above shone on a manger. In the manger was a child who God sent to offer hope and redemption to all. The child knew about the wrong and gave us a way out of the store. He came to serve, but the wrong wished Him to be subservient.
And then I will say, “Stay fixed on the up above, choose the way to right the wrong, and while it remains, be the light that shines on it.”
“Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all the people. For there is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10,11, NKJV).
“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy” (Matthew 2:10, NKJV.)