Based on II Corinthians 12:1-10
I attended â€œMenâ€™s Nightâ€ for the Central South Carolina Annual Conference of the AME Church on this past Monday and saw an old friend and mentor named Oscar Mack. â€œDeanâ€ Mack, as we called him at South Carolina State University, supervised Lowman Hall, which was then the freshman dorm. Whenever I see him, we laugh about those days – I long ago confessed to being one of the â€œwater bombersâ€ who drenched him when he was headed out for the evening in an immaculate sharkskin suit – and I marvel at how his voice is still strong and more melodious that I would have thought when he was chewing me out back then. Heâ€™s a perennial favorite soloist with the Central Conference Sons of Allen Male Choir and sometimes leads the choir into the church for Menâ€™s Night, marching all the way.
I also marvel at the fact that Dean Mack is active and involved in his church and community in spite of diabetic complications that took away his sight. I was shocked when I saw and initially realized that, but I never got the chance to offer sympathy or commiserate. When we connected again ten years or so ago, he simply noted what was obvious and said, â€œDarby, Iâ€™m blind but Iâ€™m blessed – I can still praise the Lord.â€
I thought of Dean Mackâ€™s response to his infirmity when I dealt with colorectal cancer, and still think of it on days when nothing goes right, my plans fall apart and I find obstacles and aggravations at every turn. Dean Mackâ€™s faithful determination is a constant reminder that in spite of what life throws at us, weâ€™re still blessed when we trust in the Lord.
Remember Dean Mack when life throws you for a loop and turns you every which way but loose. The God we serve can bless us in spite of lifeâ€™s obstacles. Remember as well what the Apostle Paul said about an infirmity that he earnestly and prayerfully asked God to relieve on three occasions. Paul always got the same response from God – â€œMy grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.â€ You can then face each dayâ€™s joys and sorrows trusting in and praising the Lord with the determination that leads Dean Mack to keep on singing and that led Paul to rejoice in his infirmity and say, â€œWhen I am weak, then I am strong.â€
If this has been a blessing to you, feel free to share it!