Op-Ed

You always know who you are watching, but you don’t always know whose watching you

Bobby Henry, Sr.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER

“For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.” Ephesians 5:12 (KJV)

 By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.

If we were to ask ourselves for an honest answer to the question: “Who are we trying to live a good life for?”, our answer would probably be not for ourselves.

We struggle every day to overcome situations and pitfalls that could create embarrassing outcomes that would leave our loved ones much more devastated than our own selves.

The sins we commit, yes, we will personally be held accountable for. However, those that see us and hold us in high esteem are damaged also.

We duck and dodge believing our peccadillo small, relatively unimportant offense or sin) is left hidden under a cloak of secrecy.

Like a lamp in a dark room, someone sees it.

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:13 (NIV)

As youth growing up, did you ever have any of your bad habits beat you home and when you got there your parents were waiting to eagerly ask you, “How was your day?”

I don’t know if they were hoping I would lie so they could hit me in the head, cracking my skull while  simultaneously cutting me to the white meat. Naw, I’m just kidding; but I always wondered, how did they know.

The same is true when you were seen doing good and didn’t even know it. Doing good, I must admit that the scars, if any, were  badges of honor and the con-sequences were much more rewarding and a lot more comfortable than the afore-mentioned.

I never really paid much attention to who was watching me until I worked as a therapist in the Juvenile Justice System.

It was one of the most embarrassing times of my life. I dare not tell the details, but it was right then and there that I made a conscious effort to be mindful of just how important it was for others –especially youth — to see the godliness of my lifestyle.

Have I ever fallen short of keeping that commitment? Yes, but I will not ever stop trying to live my life for all to see.

By no means will I forget the look that the young man had on his face and what he said to me. He said, “Bobby how can you tell me not to do such and such when I see you doing it.”

Those words cut  like a rusty hand saw with some of the teeth missing!

That wound is a reminder to me that just because I don’t see others watching me, it doesn’t mean that they are not.

So, because of that young man and a whole lot of other important people, I try to live my life like they are watching and when I fall short, I go to the One that can comfort and truly forgive me.

“Against You, you only have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge.” Psalm 51:4 (KJV)

 

Live Your Creed

I’d rather see a sermon than to hear one any day. I’d rather one walk with me than just to show the way. The eye is a better pupil and more willing than the ear. Advice may be misleading, but examples are always clear. And the very best of teachers are the ones who live their creed, for to see good put into action is what everybody needs. I can soon learn to do it if you let me see it done. I can watch your hand in motion but your tongue too fast may run. And the lectures you deliver may be very fine and true, But I’d rather get my lesson by observing what you do. For I may misunderstand you and the fine advice you give, but there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.  –Langston Hughes


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