April 12, 2020 2:05AM
James Hankins
James Hankins

My two brothers, three sisters and I were blessed to have a loving and caring mother and father as we grew up. My father was a Catholic and my mother a hand- clapping, foot- stomping AME-Zion Methodist. We learn and practice the best of both religions.

We all reach a point in our lives especially after attending the funeral of a close friend or family member that we wonder; is GOD real or just a story our parents taught us. Some of us miss one Sunday, then two then three or four months and don’t feel any guilt, so we just stop going to church.

We start making big money, dressing well, eating at the finest restaurants where we leave a 12-dollar tip. The younger one says good-by GOD I am going to college and the older one says good-by GOD I am wearing $300 shoes, a nine-hundred-dollar outfit and 200 dollars’ worth of jewelry on my way to the Club.

The old folks would say you have gotten too big for your britches. You are at the point where GOD says pardon the interruption, I have something to say only to you, my child. My parents taught us that hurricane and viruses were not a curse from GOD but his strong way of saying “Be still and know that I am GOD.” Take advantage of this quiet time to have family discussions, talk and learn more about each other and plan the next steps each of you will take.

When grandma died, some of you threw out most of the things she had been saving and keep what you could use. You had stopped going to church a long time ago and had no use for her Bible, but you could not bring yourself to throw it in the trash can. You remember Grandma smiled every time she opens that book and read to you. She had a bigger smile when you finally learned to read and read the Bible to her.

Grandma is now with the people she taught you about in a place where she will never grow old. Open that book and have all family members read a little bit each day and tell what that passage means to them. Time will pass quickly, and the coronavirus will be gone before you finish that great book.

He said. “be still and know that I am GOD.” This is for my three families; Bellamy, Hankins and Mclean’s. We grew up in different cities and states, but we all have two things in common. We were all raised from birth as Christians and we love fried chicken, rice, gravy and homemade biscuits (smile).

Will your great family join us in pray? After over 40 years as an itinerant/traveling country preacher, Rev. Harry Hoosier, a Black slave preacher who could not read or write said the best prayer he has ever heard and said had only three words, “LORD HAVE MERCY.” He said even if you’ve forgotten how to pray, say those words real slow 10 times and see what happens.

James J. Hankins—Wilmington, NC— 910-233-1968