God truly does work in mysterious ways

Published 7:23 pm Tuesday, July 10, 2018

As I have written in previous columns, I was raised in a community in LaGrange where the church was only a few feet away from our home. I used to pray most Sundays as a child that my father would make enough money one day and move to another home where the church was not so close to our house.

You see, living so close to the church, my siblings and I were required to attend church virtually each time the doors were open for service. My parents, in fact, would tell visitors to our home that God in his infinite wisdom works in mysterious ways that humans do not often understand.

As a child, I would hear my mother say this thousands of times on happy and sad occasions. She felt that he blessed our family by allowing my father to purchase a home near the church where the children could be regularly fed a diet of information, directly from the bible.

The pastor was a charismatic person, who on each Sunday, about an hour before service, would actually walk to each home in our small community and remind families that it was a day to serve the Lord.

Some in the community would not open the door, but undeterred, he would shout as he would be leaving their home that, “God was good to you the whole week, and Sunday was the day to repay him with worship.”

Even though I did not like living next door to the church, the building and property were considered sacred. I was told, as were most children, that the church was a holy place.

A place that you did not vandalize, blaspheme, or even use profanity because God would be angry.

I remember attending my first funeral. It was that of a young neighbor who was a popular gospel singer.

It was a strange experience for me, because during those days, children were not allowed to be around adults engaged in conversation as they are today.

Listening from a distance, I observed the parents of the deceased who were saddened by their son’s unexpected death. They were quick to say to their friends that they could not question why God would take their son away from them so early in his life.

They believed that in time, it would be revealed to them by the Holy Spirit. I must admit, I did not entirely inculcate, the spiritual beliefs of my parents. I know that God knows best when we are visited with misfortunes beyond our control, but it is difficult for me, sometimes, not to become angry or sad on such occasions.

Several years ago, the actions of an employee, whom I also considered to be a friend, caused me to incur a substantial sum of money in indebtedness which nearly ruined me financially. After engaging in a considerable amount of self-pity, I dusted myself off and authored a reasonably successful book that is now translated into several languages titled, No Cross No Cross, which is an apology to God for my lack of faith, and to admit that he truly does work in mysterious ways.