The good Lord tugged at my heart twice in the wee hours of my sleep. The first time was Saturday, Aug. 29 and the second time was Saturday, Sept. 5. Here is what the Holy Spirit had told me to pen. From an old hymn entitled, "We Are Living, We are Dwelling" are these very fitting words:


"We are living, we are dwelling, in a grand and awful time, in an age on ages telling — To be living is sublime (extraordinary experiences that take us beyond ourselves). Hark! The waking of the nations, Gog and Magog (enemies of God’s people who wage war against God at the end of the world) to the fray; Hark! What sounded? Is creation groaning for her latter day? Wicked spirits gather around thee; legions of those foes to God, principalities most mighty, walk unseen the earth abroad; they are gathering to the battle, strengthening for the last deep strife; Christian arm! Be watchful, ready, struggle manfully for life. Christian, rouse! Fight in this warfare, cease not until the victory is won; til your captain loud proclaimeth, ’Servant of the Lord, well done!’ He, alone, who thus is faithful, who abideth to the end, hath promise, in the kingdom an eternity to spend."


Over the years I have expressed my heartfelt sympathy to many a person. Never in my 64 years of living have I experienced such coldness, unkind, unfriendly and unappreciative people as I have here recently. This troubled my spirit so much so I had to let my pen flow.


I was raised as a very young child with very good morals and values in a Christian home with loving parents, thankfully. I’m proud to say that my siblings and I were raised to love God and everybody. We were not raised to be racially prejudiced. For the record, racial prejudice is indeed a learned behavior. It is taught like the ABCs. It is a terrible and deadly disease just like COVID-19 is. Just look at all the killings of our black men by the hands of the heartless and racist policeman through many cities here in America. Thank God not all law enforcement is this way. Even though all the protesting that has gone on, and still going on, nothing really has changed much, sad to say. So we must continue to PRAY! PRAY! PRAY! And vote very wisely.


Philippians 2:12-15 says the following: "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings (complaints) and disputings (arguments). That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;"


Jesus wants all of us who truly love Him to let our lights shine brighter than ever before. "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid" [Matthew 5:14]. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." [Matthew 5:16].


You need a good laugh now? A few years ago I was coming out of the store on 32nd Street and Grand Avenue when a young man had an unlit cigarette in his hand. He asked me, "Do you have a light?" I said, "Yes I do, and I’m going to let it shine."


Denise Johnson is a minister, chaplain, published writer, poet and praise dancer in Fort Smith. She can be reached at granzhands@gmail.com.