Sights And Sounds That Inspire Me

A few years ago, someone who worked with my wife (when she was employed as the principal at South Elementary School), who was a frequent reader of my column, asked her this question: “Where does your husband get the ideas to write so many articles?” Her question came to mind as I started this particular piece today. I believe that perhaps every author that fits into the unique category of being a creative and compulsive writer has these characteristics in common. First, after being creative and compulsive, which literally means that we have an obsession or maybe a better term is an addiction to writing. You will know, if you are that kind of writer, if you have got the almost insatiable desire to put something on paper (whether it is an idea, poem, essay, short story, dissertation in defense or against something, or etc.). It does not matter what it is, you will be driven to write something. I am fortunate to have this column with the Dillon Herald because it affords me the opportunity to write on a weekly basis. Although, I do a lot of other writing like that of sermons, lessons, poems, stories, and an occasional letter, being a guest columnist for our local paper helps to satisfy my addiction as well as fine-tune my skills.
If you are the kind of writer that I am considering here, you have a very inquisitive knack that some may call nosiness. Your eyes see things and your ears hear things that most people’s sense faculties do not. I constantly get ideas for my column and other literary endeavors through observation, conversation, inquiries, and of course reading. These are the antennae that feed and fuel my imagination and creativity as a compulsive writer. The idea to write what you are reading in my column today came into being based upon the factors and facts that I have already shared.
While sitting in the main restaurant at Founders Inn in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where I had come to speak at a conference, as I enjoyed my breakfast, something caught my attention that became the inspiration for this that you are reading. A little toddler, who was sixteen months old, was sitting in his special child’s chair talking and enjoying the presence of his parents, especially that of his father. I thought to myself what an amazing sight to behold that of a young child enjoying the presence, patience, and teasing of his father. It was such a refreshing and inspiring sight and thus became the impetus for my article today. I am always touched by the sight of young children who are happy, gay, and enjoying their space and the season of their innocence and adolescence without worry, disease, or the scars and signs of abuse or improper and negligent parenting. I often tell the parents who have toddlers in my congregation who want to have a little freedom to move a little (who are not in our nursery for any given reason), to leave them alone and give them a little liberty to act like a child. Except they are acting out and causing some distractions, them acting like babies and toddlers does not disturb me at all. I wonder what the church did when there were no such things as a nursery or children’s church. I came up in a little church where we had neither and many of us turned out alright.
I am almost always touched by the sight of an elderly couple holding hands while they are walking. In an age when far too many married people grow apart and become distant from each other, as they age in both their union and age, it is a truly inspiring sight to behold a senior couple who are still able to hold hands in public and be unabashed in their affection of one another. We youngsters who struggle to practice such bonding and union building with each other can certainly learn a whole lot from observing older couples who are growing old together and still enjoy one another’s presence.
I was recently in a business establishment and was blessed by the very proper, courteous, and respectful attitude of a young man who worked in the place as he attended a customer. It is becoming increasingly difficult to interact with many (not all) young people anywhere regardless of the setting or situation, who are respectful and courteous, especially to their elders. This is perhaps a greater problem in the culture of African American youths than any other ethnic group in America. There are many causes and factors that have brought this about like rap music, bad company, fatherless homes, and quite a few others that I do not have the time and space to consider today. Right here, I will borrow the words of Malcom X that he once said about black folks concerning a certain issue, “I hate to say this about us, but it is true!”
There are many sights and sounds that transpire in the world of human relations and experiences that are truly wondrous and inspiring to behold. In a world that is inundated with violence, crime, evil, and so much misery and suffering, it is a refreshing thing to behold human activity that is positive, constructive, and uplifting to the soul. The sight and sound of children playing, of men busy at work like beavers constructing a building, and so many other sights that involve people interacting with one another in some peaceful and worthy cause is a pleasant thing to behold. Nevertheless, invariably and without fail, my favorite sight and sound is the gathering of people who have assembled to worship and give thanks to their Creator for His goodness, His grace, His mercy, and all that He has done for them through Jesus Christ. In my estimation, there is absolutely nothing that comes a close second to the sight and sound of any assembly of believers who have gathered for the primary purpose of praising and worshipping God in spirit and in truth. I am persuaded that there is nothing that any of us can do as human beings that is more important and uplifting corporately than to praise our Sovereign Lord. There is truly no higher calling, no greater honor, and no inspiring sight like the tapestry of a gathering of believers to worship and praise God. The following passage captures the essence of what I am asserting here and shall be the final words of my column today: “Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord. Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.” (2 Chronicles 20:18-19 New International Version)