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I've known an old black couple many years, they were a common sight around here, still are, driving their old pick-up, pulling an old flat bed trailer, slowiy driving local roads as they scan yards and pastures and barn yards for odd and ends scrap metal to stop and ask for. I dont know if they had other employment, just know them as Jimm and Rosie, the scrap metal couple. Jims' in his 90's now, had heart attack a couple years ago, but they still ramble around looking for scrap metal. Two of the calmest, sweetest, more peaceful and serene people you'd ever hope to meet.

My son in law told me how he used to walk past their house coming home from school, and most always they'd be sitting out evenings on their font porch in rocking chairs, always smiling and pleasant, rocking and talking to each other and passer's by. My son in law said he would often ask them because he loved to hear their answer, in those soft, slow, old southernly polite colored folk drawl, "Jus waitin' on the Lord, we jus waitin on the Lord."

Now my son in law always thought, and I did too, first times i heard that story, they meant they were sitting there waiting for the Lord's return, you know the rapture, when jesus was going to swoop down out of heaven and take all the good saved folk up to heaven.

But as I got to know Jim and Rosie better, i realized that was a misunderstanding. Jim and Rosie always seemed so calm, peaceful, relaxed, patient....they raised 9 good stong sons of good character, and they were poor as were most the "colored" that lived back in the "colored quarters" behind the tracks in a still very racially segregated and prejudiced small east Texas town.

I knew a few times, some white fella decided picking up scrap metal seemed an easy way to pick up some spending money, and when one did, more often than not the new entreprenuer and his cronies, often the local sherrif at the time, would find ways to make Jim and Rosie understand was this new fellow's "territory" now, and they'd better not be seen out trying to out hustle him for scrap in the community. I don't know what Jim and Rosie did for money in those times, but I never knew them to try to argue or fight back or take a stand that they are going to keep going out to look for scrap anyway, they just accepted, meekly, humbly. Kept the peace. It was during one of those times someone told me about passing their house one day, seeing them rocking in the porch, asked how they were doing. "Jus waitin on the Lord, Jus waitin on the Lord". I knew they had to be having it hard, some other white feller had been working their old scrap routes several months. But scavenging scrap is a slow way to make any money, and some pretty heavy work involved a lot of times. Most of those white boys didn't really stay with it very long, and soon Jim and Rosie would be back running their scrap route.

 

I'd gone and looked that phrase up in the bible, found it first in Psalm 27:,7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.

9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

11 Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.

12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

14 WAIT ON THE LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD

 

Several years later, it happened again, another while fellow had taken over the scrap route, pushed Jim and Rosie out again. I'd met the guy, he'd come by my place a time or two, I didn't like the looks of him didn't trust him, told him i had no scap to get rid of right then, not feeling too guilty about the pile accumulating behind the barn. This time I noticed some of my neighbors doing the same, turning the white fella away, when i knew they had a bit of junk piling up out back. Again, I thought of Jim and Rosies standard reply when someone talked to them on their front porch... Psalms 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

26 He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.

27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.

28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.

30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.

31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.

33 The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.

34 WAIT ON THE LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.

35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.

36 Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.

37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

 

That fellow didn't last long at all, obviously figured out there wasn't as much spending money to be made picking up folks scraps as he'd thought. Couple months later, here came Jim and Rosie. I loaded them down. My next neighnor loaded them down. I think they had to make 4 or 5 hauls to the metal place to sell their loads to get done on our road.

 

A few years ago, I found myself in a very difficult situation, I had gotten myself kinda trapped into being taken advantage of, and it looked to be a bit of a tricky situation to get out of. It was something that would be a real problem if it dragged on a long time, but there could be some unpleasant repercussion were I to try to take a forceful tact to put an end to the situation. A neighbor that was pretty flakey himself had a relative staying with him that was a dopehead, unstable, hot-headed, that had taken to smoking his dope behind my barn and stealing eggs from my henhouse and veggies from my garden when he didn't think I could see. I prayed about the matter, concerned about retaliation, revenge, possibly violence and vandalism if I tried confronting or calling the law. And then came to me, Proverbs 20:22 Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but WAIT ON THE LORD, and he shall save thee.

 

I decided to just sit on the matter. Watched often from a window, but kept my observations concealed....ok, Lord, this is getting real uncomfortable, but I'm going to trust you on this one, I'm going to wait on You. A week or so later, both the neighbor and his guest were busted for drugs in a near by town, moved out of the house next door. Nice new people moved in.

 

It can be so hard to know when its best to just wait on the Lord. It seemed like that time, i actually heard that still small voice, telling me, and I trusted. It isnt always that clear. But I taken that course a number of times now, when confronting, overt action, seemed risky in a situation, was likely to raise a flap, have an enemy out for revenge. It can also be hard on the pride, its easy to get all worked up and mad and go confront someone, indiginant at their offense....but in the long run, isn't what we really want, is for them to just go away? Quietly, without at scene? The Lord can get that done a whole lot easier and more peacefully,sometimes, than we can.

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