Monday, November 22, 2010


Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
   for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
   for to you I entrust my life. – Psalm 143:8

I went to the Huntington Library this weekend. It is a wonderful place filled with art galleries and botanical gardens of varying themes. If you need some inspiration you can find it there under the shade of hundred year old trees, beautifully manicured lawns, and timeless works of oils on canvas.

But inspiration, this time, didn’t come from the flowers and trees or the art on display. It came in the form of a 57 year old former hippy named Michael.

I was in the gift shop mulling around before making my way out and I saw this strange man looking at me. Or rather I wasn’t really sure what he was looking at. I shrugged it off as something not particularly worth my attention. After all I do have a rather unusual, curly crop on my head. Maybe that’s all it was. I continued to peruse the bookshelves lost in thought about whether or not I should buy a new book when I have at least twenty at home that I have not yet read. As I turned to walk to another part of the gift shop dude was right in my path.


“I really like your hair” he said.

Double sigh.

I didn’t really have time for this. I really wanted to be left in my own little thought bubble. I had enjoyed my afternoon among the beauty of the gardens and I was still soaking that in. How dare this intruder get all up in my space! Doesn’t he know this is California? You’re supposed to respect the invisible force fields that people encapsulate themselves in.

“Your hair reminds me of Jimi. He used to wear it like that, natural the way that God intended. I wish more kids would wear their hair like that.”

I start to tell him that yes some folks do wear it like this and in fact it did come back in fashion for a short period of time, but he wasn’t listening to me. Once I stopped talking he got going again.

“I feel sorry for your generation. You live in such hateful, polarizing times. I wish you could experience what we experienced.”

Now he’s got my attention… I’m curious to see how deep this rabbit hole is going to go.

“There was a time back in my day” he said. “I remember it clearly. It was from 1967 through 1970. That was a special time. I understand why Jimi couldn’t hold on. He was just a black kid from Seattle who was a super genius. He goes over to Europe and comes back caught between worlds. Certain folks here wanted him to be an R&B star and the Euros wanted him to be a rock star. But Jimi just wanted to be Jimi. I think that’s why he didn’t make it. It’s hard to be yourself when so many people are trying to make you into who they want you to be”

As I am listening to him I can clearly see him reliving this time. The weight of decades of pain and regret on his countenance are betrayed by the warmth in his eyes as those wonderful days of old flashed before them. He was dead on about what my generation has been exposed to but I could see that he still has hope. He still believes that the wisp of better days that he lived for those three short years can one day be realized for us.

“I wish that you young people could learn about that time. Go back and read about those three years from 1967 through 1970. We weren’t perfect but we were trying to be better. We didn’t see Jimi as a black guy. To us he was just a guy who was a genius on the guitar. If you study that time maybe you will find something that will help your generation see better days.”

Sometimes God speak to us through visions and dreams but often times he speaks to us through each other. Never forget that each and every person is connected to God just like you are. Everyone has something to teach and to learn.

I learned something that day and I intend to take his advice to heart. I don’t think it is a coincidence that my current reading about the civil rights movement stops at 1968…

The journey continues…

1 comment:

  1. Hello Man of God,
    This is what I call divine encounters or divine connections. I believe Daddy is reinforcing the place of where you are and where you're going with unusual confirmations. In all we do its by "faith" so you have to be in a place faith to even receive it. I love to hear about events like this, its very inspiring to know you're on the right track.

    Much Love


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