Band Aid on Cancer

I put a band aid on his cancers
I fed his hunger with a pill
I ignored the circumstances
That had really made him ill

I looked deep in my black bag
Stethoscope and BP Cuff
I assured him that in one week
My quick fix would be enough

I then took pictures of my doings
All good deeds must be recorded
When he asked: ‘ how much my camera?’
I said; ‘you can’t afford it!’

Then I bundled my belongings
Left behind unwanted clothing
Back to my air conditioned flight home
Full of self, full of loathing

Loathing the sights I again witnessed
Knowing his pill wore off that night
His cancer grows, his hunger increases
I am safe, away in flight

Do you too put band aids on the cancers?
Do you write the checks then sigh?
How on earth it got so bad?
Well, you are part the reason why.

For if you and I avoid the tumors
The wretched, filthy, destitute
We are both part of the blame
This truth we can’t refute

Give, go, or send is the commandment
That our God has long declared
Stop the quick and easy fixes
Don’t pretend I really cared

Stop the pills and, stop the potions
Short term, simple, cute, quaint answers
Lord when did I see you?
He answered; you put a band aid on My cancers

Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?

Isaiah 58:7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to yor house? when you see the naked, that thou cover him; and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh?

Isaiah 58:10 And if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall your light rise in obscurity, and your darkness be as the noonday:

Please, Wait Listen To Me

Before you respond
Before you agree
Before you sign on
Please, wait, listen to Me

Before you react
This is my plea
No need to defend
Please, wait, listen to Me

Before you cry foul
Evil you cannot foresee
I can keep you from harm
Please, wait, listen to Me

Your lust is alluring
Only pleasure you see
Before making that call
Please, wait, listen to Me

I can keep you from harm
Make you totally free
Surrender your will to mine
Please, wait, listen to Me

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
Proverbs 1:5 KJV

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
Psalm 27:14 KJV

I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:4 KJV

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
James 1:19 KJV

Exactly Like Me

Imagine how wonderful
The world would be
If everyone would think
Exactly like me

No arguing no contention
No bitter rivalry
Just agreement in thinking
Exactly like me

Of course it would be boring
No sweet variety
Those I blame for error look
Exactly like me

My emotions find no comfort
Conversation just soliloquy
Wretched world if all were
Exactly like me

So I thank my God in heaven
That this is not a possibility
They would still be mortal sinners
Exactly like me

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 3:23 NIV

Valuable more vulnerable

I have a drawer full of odds and ends. Stuff I refuse to throw away. Buttons and old badges, coins and other clutter all of which to the untrained eye have no value.

Sometimes, I am sure I see some people that way. They are in thei world only as an inanimate objects. Since they contribute nothing to my existence, it is very easy to dismiss them as of no value.

To be honest, I am sure others consider me the same. A collected item in a drawer that eventually, someone will empty and throw away.

It is easy to devalue and discard people in our world. The poor, the diseased, the people of other persuasions and habits can easily fit this category. Why keep them around? They add nothing but chaos, confusion and clutter to our lives. These are our world’s most vulnerable. Few of us would protect or provide for people we don’t consider of value.

That is when God steps in. He doesn’t see discardable, deplorable people. God sees souls needing redemption. Each item, every person in the collection is of great value. In fact, the more vulnerable is the most valuable.

In my own strength, my own sense of self worth, I have no value. That is, if I ignore that without God in my life, considering myself to be self-made man, I actually lose value in God’s eye.

My Father prefers those who are the weak, the fragile, anemic and dependent. He can accomplish great things with the vulnerable. His greatest work is accomplished in those who rely solely on His grace.

When you look in the bottom of your drawer, recognize that there are items there that most people will discard. When you walk along the sidewalks and streets, see each individual as of great value. No matter how the world might see them, your Creator God sees great value in every life. He sees greatest value in the most vulnerable.

The rich and famous we know by name. When tragedy strikes them we share their pain. The poor and needy, we consider as collateral damage. Unavoidable casualties in a world of vulnerable people of less value.

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1 Corinthians 1:27 KJV

We Count the Bodies God Counts the Souls

The flooding finally stopped
No forecast had foretold
While we were counting bodies
God was counting souls

The wars just keep on coming
New weapons to be sold
While we are counting casualties
God is counting souls

New diseases and new treatments
No more the common cold
We count those who succumb
God is counting souls

A gunman on the rampage
A fire out of control
We sort and count the victims
God is counting souls

I must take this perspective
Death is not the final toll
Before you exit this life
Find the One who loves your soul

Hebrews 6:19 “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast KJV

The Offer

He offered me wealth
possessions and fame
my commitment to him
would make all know my name

But He offered me life
Deliverance from death
He showed me that He
Was the source of each breath

he offered me status
and pleasure and ease
If I committed to him
I could do as I please

He offered me sacrifice
He assured me of pain
He made clear that my life
Offered no earthly gain

So, I had the two offers
Which one should I choose?
With one I could win
The other I lose

The logical choice
The one that made sense
Was quite clear to me
Not difficult, not intense

Choose life eternal
Choose what will not fade
Live beyond now and tomorrow
For eternity you’re made

Matthew 4:8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Never Alone

I am never alone
When I am with you
Other voices are silent
When it only us two

Your voice is vibrant
Not perceived by the ear
It is easier to listen
When others aren’t near

Nature feels muted
All creation seems still
My heart hears your voice
And my mind is filled

With the joy of your presence
With unlimited peace
I exist for these moments
Christ, overwhelm me, increase

John 14:26-27 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

1 Kings 19:11-12 but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.


Over 1600 years ago in his writing Confessions, Saint Augustine penned these words. “For what am I to myself without You, but a guide to my own downfall?”

I have come to recognize that without the leading of the Holy Spirit, I am determined to choose failure. In fact, I am the author of my own failure.

I am the one who plans my own destruction. When left to my own choices, my own sense of right and wrong, my own sense of morality leads me to disappointment and defeat.

I choose the wrong friends, the wrong habits, the wrong purchases, the wrong directions. All of these seem right to me for the particular seasons of my life.

My colleagues and cohorts applauded my decisions as cool, contemporary and correct. They applauded me because it affirmed their choices and, after all, no one wants to be the one left out of ‘group-think’

The Bible reminds me that choosing my own way is to choose the way of death.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Again, in Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore, choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Over 1600 years later, I still need to choose life based upon my Creator’s terms. To choose life is to confess that I am lost without Christ. To do otherwise is to choose my own damnation and eternal separation from my Creator God.

Contradictions and Corrections

All of our lives are filled with contradictions and corrections.

Things I once held dear and perfect and are now discarded as simplistic or naive. What I thought of as God’s plan has now been revealed to me as my selfish intention.

The leaders I held in great esteem are now shown to be mere mortals like myself.

I disappoint others. I deflect blame. I ignore criticism. I am full of contradictions and corrections.

I am very sincere. I am just sincerely wrong.

If you are a mere mortal like me, this should sound familiar.

There is none that is good and perfect but God.

And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God:
Matthew 19:17 KJV

Convenient Compassion

A Difficulty of a Serious Nature

When the founders of the U.S. Constitution in 1787 considered whether America should let the people elect their president through a popular vote, James Madison said that “Negroes” in the South presented a “difficulty … of a serious nature.”

When James Madison was writing about the ‘difficulty of a serious nature’, he was referring to the 3/5 compromise which mandated slaves be considered less than fully human for the sake of the electoral process. It seemed a logical stroke of genius for the economic and political stability of our nation.

Before the ink was dry on the signing of the Constitution, it had already spilt and indelibly stained the fabric of the nation. That stain continues to tarnish every decision made when it comes to treating others amongst us as fully human.

People like me of African descent in these United States of America as well as anyone who does not look distinctly European continue to face systematic institutional discrimination. We have always been an ethnic group, a people of color or race of mankind that is either tolerated or accommodated out of convenience. We have been categorized and catalogued based upon the percentage of African blood that flows through our veins reflected in the texture of our hair and the hue of our skin. Because of this we have always been a difficulty of a serious nature in our nation.

From the cradle to the grave we are still deemed a difficulty of a serious nature in this country. We continue to face discrimination in housing, education, justice and very important from my point of view healthcare. As I trained in medicine and surgery I witnessed and participated in the sanctioned use of our black patient and clientele as objects differing only from the cadavers in core body temperature. There were designated hospitals and sections of hospital reserved for doctors in training. There were hospital services and teams solely reserved for people who happen to be of darker skin tone. These discriminatory practices are less overt these days but remain reflected in the life expectancies and quality of care of people like me.

This is an issue from cradle to grave. If our healthcare system and providers could not be trusted and cannot be trusted to exhibit professional integrity and not discriminate when life chances are good, why should we believe it will happen when life teeters on the edge.

Physician-assisted suicide is seen by many as a compassionate response to relieve pain and suffering. I have yet to meet or care to meet a colleague who takes pleasure in seeing someone suffer. We were trained to relieve emotional, physical, psychological and even spiritual pain. Not all of us practice our profession on the front line, face-to-face with families and friends of someone who is suffering. However, I am cautious of being swayed by the wave of emotions that would drown out my professional decision-making.

To actively participate in the death of someone in front of me is a difficulty of a serious nature. Convenient compassion would certainly justify doing so. But I know that this compromise can often be made for the economic and even familial politic. I understand how good intentions signed in black ink for the sake of the individual and family will stain forever relationship between physician and patient. One never knows who conspires with whom to end life.

Suffice it to say that I do not trust in the healthcare system and its providers to make nondiscriminatory choices when dealing with a difficulty of a serious nature. This is especially true if one’s practice is made up solely of helping people die. I can imagine that one would need to be certified in killing.  Proper protocols and ethics would be established. But if the practitioner were not paid adequately those boundaries can always be pushed and violated.

Pain and suffering are difficulties of a serious nature. When people of color have historically been denied and continue to be denied adequate healthcare, why should we entrust those same institutions and systems to rule and decide in our best interest?

Physician-assistant suicide represents to me yet another way to rid ourselves of someone no longer holds value. These are 3/5 persons. Putting them out of their misery, taking away their breath allows us to breathe easier. We call it compassion. I call it convenient compassion. My fear is that once we embrace this way of ending life for the isolated few, we will find it necessary to redefine suffering. We will once again have designated hospitals with designated services for designated people. We can harvest their organs at the same time the rifle through their belongings.

I see this as a boon for insurance companies which would rather that I die from my pre-existing condition than use up the benefits that would go to their profits. Families likewise cannot be trusted to rule dispassionately when there are potential financial benefits.

This is a difficulty of a serious nature. When seen through the eyes of someone who has experienced and even participated in treating people as less than equal, I see where this will ultimately end. I will actively pursue defeating any agenda that seeks to address a difficulty of a serious nature by dehumanizing and killing the person in front of me no matter who advances this convenient compassion. I urge you to do likewise.