Bernie Ebbers and The Tempations

Written by Roger Wright

Continued from page 1

If you disrespect every body that you run in to How inrepparttar world do you think anybody’s s’pose to respect you?

Bernie opened his eyes andrepparttar 118069 back seat ofrepparttar 118070 New York town car was gone.

He was inrepparttar 118071 back yard of an old grey stone onrepparttar 118072 south side of Chicago. It was summer, lots of smiling. And on those two tables, heaping platters of fried chicken, ribs, and sausage, burgers and greens. Sweaty pitchers of lemonade. Kids shouting and that same song playing:

If you don’t give a heck aboutrepparttar 118073 man withrepparttar 118074 Bible in his hand Just get outrepparttar 118075 way and letrepparttar 118076 gentleman do his thing.

Bernie shook his head, closed and then opened his eyes.

He could do this. He was good with new crowds. He could always sell. Always had. Always would.

That song kept coming:

Yourepparttar 118077 kind of gentleman who want everything his way Takerepparttar 118078 sheet off your face boy It’s a brand new day. Respect yourself. . . .

Bernie approachedrepparttar 118079 wise old man who seemed to be atrepparttar 118080 center of all this. “Mavis”repparttar 118081 man was shouting, “Cleotha, Yvone, come over here now!”---he was smiling, motioning over three women who Bernie guessed to be his daughters.

But as Bernie began to walk towardsrepparttar 118082 man everybody was calling Pops, Bernie realized that no one could see him.

He reached out to pat a small, running child’s head andrepparttar 118083 child didn’t even look up! He said, “Good afternoon sir,” to a man drinking a cold beer andrepparttar 118084 man looked right through him!

Bernie tapped Mavis Staples onrepparttar 118085 shoulder where she stood listening to her father speak and Mavis didn’t even turn around!

Bernie Ebbers, totally alone.

He smelledrepparttar 118086 burgers onrepparttar 118087 grill. He could seerepparttar 118088 smiling, laughing people in what was a legendary Chicago back yard picnic atrepparttar 118089 Staples, he could hear that song (Respect yourself! Respect yourself!)

He was completely alone. No one knew he was there.

Bernie Ebbers felt himself began to break. He heardrepparttar 118090 bass line---

Respect yourself Respect yourself

Bernie Ebbers thought he had known every kind of pain there was to know. He thought he’d facedrepparttar 118091 worst. He thought, none of this was really my fault.

But in that back yard onrepparttar 118092 south side of Chicago: realizing that, no one could see him. That he had no idea where he was. No idea how to get home to Mississippi. No notion of what do next.

Bernie Ebbers kept hearingrepparttar 118093 song (Respect yourself. Respect yourself) and he felt himself breaking into a shame that was new. A shame that came from no one being able to see him, No one even knowing he was there. Bernie Ebbers knew he would break and he would never even really know why.

He reached out his hands in shame, in terror and in total aloneness and he began to cry.

And just when he did:

Pops Staples handed him a heaping plate of chicken and burgers, beans and greens, looked at him with deep sad eyes and said,

“Son, respect yourself.”

Roger Wright authors the Blog CHURCH FOOD.

He connects things in very strange ways.

Abe Lincoln, Bob Dylan and John Bolton

Written by Roger Wright

Continued from page 1

“The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance withrepparttar will of God. Both may be . . . and one must be wrong. God cannot be for and againstrepparttar 118068 same thing atrepparttar 118069 same time. Inrepparttar 118070 present civil war it is quite possible that God’s purpose is something different thanrepparttar 118071 purpose of either party.. . .

The contest. {Lincoln wrote} proceeds.”

Lincoln stares outrepparttar 118072 window on torepparttar 118073 rainy September White House lawn. The Dylan record ends, and Lincoln, a weariness now taking over his whole 6’5 frame, forgets to liftrepparttar 118074 needle offrepparttar 118075 vinyl;repparttar 118076 only sound a scratching ofrepparttar 118077 finished disc endlessly turning.

And torepparttar 118078 sound of that finished Dylan record scratching, Lincoln thinks to himself: What if God is not on our side?

While Lincoln sits alone, feeling faint and powerless: on a different plane of time, a bitter cold Manhattan wind hits John Bolton like a body blow as he waits forrepparttar 118079 parking valet to bring his car. He’s late. He’s got things to do. The liberal press had putrepparttar 118080 spin on his quote: “Ifrepparttar 118081 UN building lost 10 stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.” Of course they had taken it out of context. Trumped uprepparttar 118082 volume. But Bolton was feeling good. Feeling strong. Just this morning, downing his Power shake, his personal trainer Amber Lynn had told him that he hadrepparttar 118083 body of a man ½ his age. And as for Amber Lynn’s tan and golden body---well, he knew there would be time for that. There would be time for everything John Bolton wanted time for. Everything. I am John Bolton he thought.

A man who can control time itself

Except for that damn car parking jockey. Where was he dammit? Where was his car? Where was his Beamer??? Oh there would be hell to pay for this. He was sure of it!

Roger Wright can be found on the Blog Church Food Chicago. He connects things in strange ways.

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