Event: Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Cold, snowy day, but not bad enough to delay school. So, I go out to get the snow and ice off my car to drive to my early morning school bus route. My car turns over once and dies. What can account for that?!! What to do?!
I call Keith, the school transportation supervisor. It is 06:15. He answers, having just got to the office. "I'll come and get you", he says and arrives 15 minutes later. We have 15 minutes to talk as we travel to the bus lot.
Keith, a Nazarene minister, says, "I got a copy of your letter to the Orthodox people about your LADDOF project", he says. "But I don't quite get the point about The Mormon-Church Factor".
"Did you open the link to the IDL interview of the Hippie Woman?", I ask, since Keith knew about Joseph Dillard's IDL dream interview process, having attended one of my classes at St. Dimitri Orthodox Church three years earlier.
He hadn't got that far yet in reading the letter. So, to save time I told him the dream and did he see how this conversation we are now having and his purpose in coming to this town were making more sense?
I asked if he would help me revise my blog to make my point clearer. He said yes, but it might take a few days. I told him I intended to put this story on my blog, and asked if that was OK with him.
After the morning route, Keith took me home and we continued our conversation. While we speculated on how surprising the Holy Spirit can be in bringing things to our attention, a story came to mind about the time my black minister friend, the Rev. Brother Taylor of South Los Angeles (the Watts district), told me of a fiery sermon he'd once delivered as guest preacher to a black church in the east. With tears in her eyes, an old wizened black woman had come up afterwards to joyfully exclaim, "Reverend Bruthah, de LAWD do woik in MIS-CHEE-VEE-OUS ways His wonders to RE-FORM!" Brother winked at me and said, "She got it wrong, but she made it better!"
I then recalled the dream that came to me the night just before meeting Rev. Brother, which occurred on my birthday in 1975 and which allowed me to lose my fear of blacks. "Brother", a great admirer of Mormons (he had three wives!) was the first black I'd ever met since I had been beaten up by a black soldier during basic training at Fort Ord, California, in summer 1953. Prior to that time I had lived either in segregated Phoenix or at BYU in Provo, Utah, where there were no blacks. I was introduced to Brother by my then fiance Diane who had told Brother of my ability to sing Negro Spirituals. Upon hearing me sing, Brother hired me on the spot to sing such spirituals every Sunday on his radio program from his church, The Greater Grace Memorial Church of God in Christ.
When I came to drive my afternoon bus route, I met Keith again and it occurred to tell him that the process of my first excommunication had been instigated by my having taken a stand against the Mormon policy of disallowing black church members the opportunity of being ordained to the Mormon priesthood. "Wow!" said he.
Still later, after the afternoon route, I told Keith about the roots of the second excommunication in 1992, which was in raising my solitary hand during an annual conference in opposition of sustaining the current Mormon leadership.
To be continued...