In the spirit of passing on the wisdom of an elderly client, I share this with those of you who are elderly, middle aged or young and in relationship with someone elderly or middle aged. First of all those of us that are elderly or middle aged probably do not call ourselves this - and yet, it is where we are in life! Here is the essence of what this wise man said to me: Growing old gracefully is a series of adjustments.
When he said it, I got it as well as I could, but he could probably tell I just had a vague notion of what he was really trying to share. So he proceeded to physically demonstrate it. He is a tall stately gentleman with a receded hairline, wearing a soft plaid shirt, and khaki slacks as he sat in the chair in front of my desk. He suddenly curled up his long leg and stretched it forth towards my forehead and put his foot on my desk! He said, “See! This is an adjustment I made. I only wear comfortable sensible shoes! And, look here (as he pointed to his chest pocket on ...
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I found this in my home office when I was going through some old items. It is a picture of a small cardboard card that my late uncle H. Elliott Thompson gave to me when I was in my early twenties. Many of us cousins and his children knew him for dispensing answers to questions we did not even ask and sharing wisdom he thought would put our lives on the trajectory that was best for us. So I thought I would share with you what my uncle shared with me. It is timeless wisdom that reminds us of the simple ways that our elders and ancestors have always known would make our paths easier:
PRAY: It is the greatest power on earth.
LOVE: It is a God-give privilege.
READ: It is the fountain of wisdom.
THINK: It is the source of power.
BE FRIENDLY: It is the road to happiness.
GIVE: It is too short a day to be selfish.
PLAY: It is the secret of perpetual youth.
LAUGH: It is the music of the should.
WORK: It is the price of success.
SAVE: It is the secret to security.
Today I had someone say to me: “I thought because you were a minister…. you would help me!” This was in response to quoting a price for my legal services that included a payment plan. If I actually listed the terms here, both ministerial and legal colleagues would then ask if I was intending to GIVE my services away and open a free legal aid clinic!! Let’s just say it was a highly conflictual family law matter that most attorneys would start their opening retainer quote at $5,000.00. I required no down payment and, a weekly payment that would likely not cover my gas costs to court!
What is important about this interaction is not the market cost of legal services, my potential sacrifice, nor the person’s glib statement (borne out of fear regarding fighting for their children's safety and wellbeing). What I am inviting you to consider is, that there is a misunderstanding about Christian ministry and it is this: ministry services should be free. Well ...
If you have legal or faith questions, or perhaps another concern or question, feel free to contact me at:
Regina D. Jemison
500 Griswold, Suite 2410
Detroit, MI 48226