Archive for Humanity

Neck Bones and Taters… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , on July 5, 2019 by paulthepoke

There was an older black woman who lived off Prospect, and every year around the holidays she would holler at me. She called me “Blondie.” She had a large bowl of neck bones and taters with amazing tiny peppers. The peppers weren’t hot, just spicy enough for flavor.

She’d always tell me, “Now, honey, you can keep that bowl, but don’t you be leaving it out just anywhere. If you can make it back this way, just leave it on the steps. If not, then at least find it a home in a trashcan. You eat all of that, honey, ’cause you ain’t nothing but skin and bones, a walking skeleton. I say now, go on now and eat all of that, and God bless you.”

Those neck bones and taters were amazing. Year after year, she never forgot me. Once she even walked down the street about two blocks from her house because she said one of her boys had seen me out there. She always reminded me to eat every bit because I was just skin and bones. She always offered me a warm smile. She always made a point to touch my hand and look me in the eyes when she spoke to me.

One year she put $5 in my hand and kissed my cheek. Another year she tossed me a pair of gloves and an old jacket and cautioned me not to catch a cold. She even told me I had a lovely smile. I never knew her name, and she never asked mine, but I did feel human each time I heard her voice. I wasn’t invisible to her.

In the wee hours of many nights, doubtful thoughts would drift through my mind, tormenting me for a while. Would someone eventually find me? Did anyone even know I was alive? Would someone look for me if I were dead?

Everyone else who offered me food or other such necessities had strings attached—I could have it if I provided sexual services for them. After all, I was a prostitute, and my purpose in life was for their pleasure.

My neck bone and tater patroness, however, never forgot me and never asked for anything from me. When she saw me, she simply acknowledged my humanity. I always felt that, for some reason, she loved me just as I was. Somehow, this woman, if only once or twice a year, gave me just enough hope and genuine compassionate care to keep me going. Her gentle concern ignited small embers of hope and made me question if there might be more to my life, after all.

From time to time I would wonder: Did she watch for me so she could speak to me or bring me food? Was she the one person in her home, with her family, who truly knew I existed? Did she ever wonder about me? Did she wonder if I were cold or hungry or alive or dead? It seemed like she thought of me. Maybe I did exist. Maybe she alone had the ability to see my invisibility.

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

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No Strings Attached… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags on June 8, 2019 by paulthepoke

Let him who is without sin among you throw the first stone. John 8:7, Jesus

We all at times experience a sense of disconnection from the world around us. We wonder if anyone truly sees us. We can be completely surrounded by people who know our name, yet they are completely clueless about us and what is really going on inside. We crave connection, acknowledgement, validation—some sign that we exist, that we are known, and that we have purpose.

As we explore some poignant moments of recognition that once gave me glimmers of human connection in an otherwise invisible existence, let us consider how we can give others in our life the gift of visibility. Intentionality, appropriate touch, and eye contact are free and simple to give.

If you are feeling that disconnect today in your life, don’t wait for someone to see you. See someone else, and they will see you back. Just as we will discover in my story, if we will acknowledge others’ humanity, even after years and years have passed, they will acknowledge ours back. I will never forget the woman who never forgot me.

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

My Purple Flowers… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , on May 10, 2019 by paulthepoke

While I was walking along, keeping an eye out for a spigot, I saw some beautiful flowers in a yard behind a fence. Knowing that the owners must have a water hose around somewhere—and drawn by the flowers—I climbed over the fence. I just wanted to smell them at first. Then I saw the butterflies fluttering around and saw the sparkles from the morning dew, like tiny pearls on the petals. It was all so beautiful: the rich mixture of colors, so bright, with the lush, vibrant green grass that blanketed the ground in front of the flower bed. So I walked over and began picking
some flowers of each color: a red one, a blue one, a yellow one, and a few purple ones. The purple seemed so calm, so peaceful and rich.

As I was picking them, a man came out from the house with a phone in his hands. He was yelling, and he had an accent. “Get away!” he said. “I’m calling the police! Get away from my house!”

I had spotted the water hose, and I was thinking about how badly I needed that drink of water. But I realized the man would not let me near it.

“I’m sorry,” I said, and headed for the gate, with the man still yelling at me about my trespassing in his yard and picking his flowers. I still had them in my hand, and I dropped them by the fence as I exited the yard. I turned as he yelled once again that he was calling the police.

“I’m homeless,” I said. Then it hit me that I was barefoot, that I was standing in the cool of the grass, and that his flowers were beautiful. “I don’t see much beautiful stuff,” I said, and then I started walking again.

I realized then that he had stopped yelling at me. In fact, I heard him behind me, saying, “Hey, lady.” I turned, thinking for sure that the police had arrived at his house to arrest me for trespassing. Instead, I saw that he was holding the flowers I had dropped. He handed them to me.

I smiled and said thanks. He made eye contact with me very briefly, as if for a moment connecting with my humanity, something that happened so rarely for someone like me. And then he looked down. When he looked at me again, it was with a stern glare.

“Now go,” he said, “and stay out of my yard.”

I walked with those flowers, smelling them along the way—the smell so sweet, so fresh, and so pure—looking at the bright colors against my hands, which were riddled with open sores and blisters. My hands were so dirty, so
dark, but the purple stood out against them, so vibrant, clear, and bright. The color itself seemed to shout happiness and goodness. The brilliant colors of the petals across my blackened, filthy flesh were so beautiful, and the smell was so fragrant and sweet!

That day in the sunshine, I slid the flowers behind my ears as I walked to the corner where a trick was waiting, flashing his brake lights as a signal for me. My beautiful moment was over; it was back to my reality.

Basic Human Needs: Sleep and Food… Christine McDonald

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , on March 2, 2019 by paulthepoke

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://www.gofundme.com/crypurplemovie

https://crypurplemovie.com/

The winter wind was bitterly cold. I was curled up, with no shoes or coat, barelegged and in a skirt. I was too tired to get up from the spot I had found beside a cold brick building. I was alone. There was no one bugging me, no one wanting anything from me that I was not willing to give. I longed for rest…sleep…a friendly word…a rescuer. Could someone find me?

The concrete was so damp, the cold causing my frail, 88–pound body to ache. Yet with my head against a vent, where part of my body found warmth, the brisk aroma of ground coffee beans brought me comfort of sorts, transporting me to a different world. This aroma was occasionally overpowered by the stale, musty smell of urine, reminding me of my reality.

https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/sex-trafficking-survivor-preaches-inspiration-to-women-in-st-charles-county/63-0b6bb1b3-5c66-4db8-adea-4d9d5a6347f7

Was I invisible to the world around me? Was anyone trying to find me? Wouldn’t someone please take me home! I wanted a kind person, someone who didn’t want me as an object, a thing, but someone who would allow me to belong, who would keep me safe and warm. I wanted someone to see me as a person.

My body ached; my stomach grumbled for food. Eating food is such a seemingly basic human need. Yet out here, even food came at a price. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t turn another date just to eat. The thought of what I had to do for the money to eat revolted me. I couldn’t dare to put food in my mouth. Instead, I’d get high to make it all go away—the hunger pains, the shame, the hurt, the despair. Tonight, however, I was too weak and frail to even ponder the idea of standing, much less putting on the show necessary to earn money for food or dope.

Photo: Toronto Star

This corner, this building, the warmth from the vent…if only I could meld into the bricks for a rest, a long rest. Oh, to sleep safe, to sleep without expectations of my body. To sleep in a clean, safe bed with no one touching me, no one expecting sexual deeds for that sleep—another basic human need. A shower…oh, just to soak in a tub. Oh, my! And with bubbles to wash away the filth, the grime, the smells of all those men, of all the shame.

No. Not in my world. Not in this life…

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Predestined With Free Will: Nations

Posted in Jude, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2019 by paulthepoke

Psalm 115:2-3 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases.

God is in control over the nations. Yet, the nations have free will to choose their destiny.

Click on the link above for video/audio.

A nation’s destiny is based on one simple foreign policy decision. How will that nation relate to God’s chosen people, Israel? And God states…

Genesis 12:3 “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” -God

A nation’s course of history is determined by their interaction and response toward nation Israel. The Old Testament is full of examples of God’s judgment toward the enemies of Israel. Likewise, nations who show favor towards Israel are blessed.

In Psalm 2, God makes it perfectly clear who is in charge. Notice, the nations are exhibiting their free will. They are “raging” and “plotting”. Nations are gathering together under their sovereignty. Their choice is to take on the Creator, God. And the nations think they can break free from God and His will.

Psalm 2:1-3 “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”

God’s response to humanity’s rebellion towards Him… He laughs. He taunts. Then God explains how things are going to be. The Creator is in charge despite the creation’s free will. Note the terms wrath, terrify, and fury. God means business and He will emphatically put down the rebellion. His answer is The Lord Jesus Christ. Jerusalem is the headquarters.

Psalm 2:4-6 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then He will speak to them in His wrath, and terrify them in His fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

It is stated that He (Jesus) will rule with a rod of iron and shatter them (the nations) like clay pots. Yes, nations can choose the destiny of their nation. Their free will and choice are no match. Nations are either with God or against Him. God will rule and Christ will be in charge.

Psalm 2:6-9 I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

A warning has been issued to the leaders of Earth. Use some common sense. Homage to the Son is expected.

Psalm 2:10-12 Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.

Use your free will and choose the Son, Jesus Christ. Take safety in His provision for sin. He has you covered. Otherwise, sin will be judged. There is accountability and consequence to your free will sin. The destination is an eternal lake of fire.

Predestined With Free Will: Humanity

Posted in Jude with tags , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2018 by paulthepoke

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

It is God’s will that each created, individual human being should not perish or face judgment. God wants all of us to have a change of heart and mind and return to Him.

But God created us with the capacity to choose our own way and choose the things we want. Every day we make multiple decisions. For example, I chose to hit the snooze button when the alarm clock went off this morning. I had oatmeal instead of bacon and eggs for breakfast. I put on brown pants and a sweater. I did not want to shave but I chose to brush my teeth. You get the point.

On this planet, there are over 7 billion individual wills who have this same capacity. People are acting on their own behalf. Religion, culture, and lifestyle influence and dictate behavior on a global scale. Some have chosen sides for either good or evil. Some have not chosen sides and drift to their own drum. Some choose to believe in nothing.

As altruistic humans, we love to believe our free will is for the greater good. We conveniently neglect the consequences of our sinful choices. When we screw up, we blame God. The reality is, we are responsible for our thoughts and actions.

James 1:13-15 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

With eternal consequences for sin, humans love to blame God as an overbearing, unfair task master. “God wants to crush us with His thumb like a bug! God is a mean, cruel ogre!” This just is not true. Listen to what the prophet Ezekiel has to say. And this is even in the Old Testament…

Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

The issue is us, humanity. We have a choice. Do we choose Jesus or not? Do we accept His payment for sin or not? Eternal judgment is the cost for sin. God provides a solution for the consequence of sin. The solution is Jesus’ death on the cross.

1 Timothy 2:4-6 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.

God knew before the creation of time and Earth who was going to choose His path. He also knew who was going to refuse His path. This is God’s plan for all of humanity before time. He Chose Us, Every Single One of Us.

Ephesians 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will…

see also Romans 8:29-30

But, humanity has free will.

Ecclesiastes 8:11 When the sentence for a crime is not speedily executed, the hearts of men become fully set on doing evil.

Lighten the Load

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , on August 31, 2018 by paulthepoke

Christine McDonaldFeaturing Christine Clarity McDonald

Christine has assisted with writing legislation for Federal block grant dollars to states for substance abuse.

Perspective truly is everything. As you read, give yourself permission to alter your perspective. Give yourself permission to imagine for yourself a very different childhood, leading to a very different teen stage, and landing you in a very different adult world.

We have desensitized ourselves to only consider a person’s current behavior, passing judgments on them for the random snapshots we see rather than considering the whole scope of their life. If we dig deeper to see the humanity of our fellow brothers and sisters, perhaps we will walk away with better ways to help and serve that demonstrate the genuine love and compassion we carry for them in our hearts.

Maybe you can’t do much about economic exploitation or repressive political policies. But you can listen with love, lend a helping hand, share a meal, and speak an affirming word. So can I. That may not seem like much. I mean it’s not a cure-all for man’s inhumanity to man.

heart sun

But if we can make just one person’s load lighter, one person’s dream a little brighter, if we dare to give into goodness now and then, then maybe, just maybe, someone else will be inspired to try goodness too. And who knows what might happen then.

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

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