Have you ever heard the story of the woman and her young son attending a funeral of her husband and father? They were listening to all the wonderful, marvelous and extraordinary comments being made about the deceased? After a few very kind and generous remarks, the mom nudged her son and said, ‘boy, run up there and see if that’s your daddy in that casket.’
Unlike this woman who knew her husband to not be the man portrayed by the preacher, I attended the service of a truly good man. I know Jesus told the young ruler when called ‘good’ that there are none good but one. That One being a reference to God the Father.
Even with that in mind, ‘Preacher Reid was a good and godly man’ by biblical standards. He took an ole poor boy with little to offer and showed him the way of grace. He treated me as though I was somebody worthy of attention and time. He took me and shared what it is to accept Jesus as your Savior. Eventually the day came when I received the Gift of salvation. [April 1978]
Preacher Reid baptized me. He nurtured me in my new walk with the Lord. He helped me to see the
importance of reading the Bible and attending church. Later on folks would speak of my faithfulness to church but I couldn’t accept their compliments for it was Preacher Reid who taught me how much I needed them, the church folks. I wasn’t being faithful. I was drawing on their acceptance of me and enjoying the sense of belonging they gave me.
The Girls In Action hosted a ‘Christmas in August.’ It was during that event when Preacher Reid confirmed that God was dealing with me. He had no idea. I had not told him. That Sunday evening in August Preacher Reid told me ‘if there was someone in our church God is going to use it is you.’ I almost choked on my cookie.
About a year later I went forward and made public God’s calling on my life. The church licensed me. Preacher Reid went with me to colleges and universities to see where God wanted me to further my preparation for the gospel ministry.
All along the way Preacher Reid guided me. His wife Emily giving me the necessary boost from time to time. It wasn’t an easy chore for either one of them. During one particularly harsh period in my life I became deeply disheartened. Some church folks had began talking about me in a grossly negative way. One Sunday evening during that time, I went into Preacher Reid’s study. I left my license to preach on his desk. I was ready to give up. Preacher Reid called me into his study after the services and gave me a firm talking to.
I was challenged to make up my mind. Was I going to serve God? Does God have the right to do with me whatever He pleases? Was I sold out to Him or a sell out to the world?
There were many times when I’d make a blunder. Preacher Reid would call me into his study. His desk spotless clean yet there he sat looking across the desk at me stroking the surface as though it was filthy. Then he would stop, look at me, point his finger and proceed to give me ‘the lecture.’
Preacher Reid did not have to invest his time in me yet he chose to do so. Mrs. Reid did not have to reach out to this no body from another town, yet she did. I am grateful to Almighty God for Rev. Jack Reid and Mrs. Emily Reid. They Cared!!
Preacher Reid went on to serve on my ordination council. He preached my ordination charge. He challenged me not to give up in school for, as he put it, “I’d be known as a quitter who didn’t see things through.”
Today they buried a ‘good man.’ I would have been most humbled to have been a part of the officiating of his service. Instead, I sat quietly by and reflected. How many times did I bring joy to him and Mrs. Reid and then how many times i must have disappointed him and Mrs. Reid.
Love them both. Can’t express how much. But I do.
Until next time,