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Aspects of Liberation
by Leah Sellers
2013-11-16 10:51:49
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My Grandpa Avery was a soft spoken man. He stood 6-feet-2 with eyes so blue. He believed in honor and duty, too, and when he returned Home on the Battleship Texas from WWI, the family never heard a word about the War – not from Grandpa’s lips. He refused to speak of it – to give Energy to it. There were other things to focus upon for the future now in the Name of Acts of Liberation.

One of the many stories told about Grandpa Avery Taught all of us our Work Ethic of Liberation. That’s right! Liberation is Work!

During the Great Depression, when thousands were begging and scratching around for jobs and standing in endless food lines, Grandpa Avery heard about the telephone company hiring. Fortunately, he and Grandma lived out in the country and had been farming food for their large family (they wound up with eight children) as well as for all of their other family members, relatives and close friends (who lived in nearby towns) in order to help keep food on everyone’s tables. The times were lean, and dire for almost everyone, particularly those who lived within the cities. However, they needed more money coming in than what the sale of their cow’s milk and hen’s eggs could provide.

So, like clockwork, every morning, at 4:30, Grandpa ate a quick breakfast, crammed his tall frame into their small, black 1932 Chevy and drove twenty-three miles into Little Rock, Arkansas to stand all day long in line with many other desperate and willing men thinking and hoping, “today’s the day…….”

He repeated that pattern uncomplainingly for almost two months.

One day Grandma was surprised by the premature squeak of her front porch’s screen door. She found Grandpa standing in the middle of the living room with a Cheshire Cat grin on his handsome face. “Well, Lillian, I got the job. The man in charge said that he was tired of seeing my face there every day – ha! Actually, he told me that he was impressed with my always being the first in line every morning, every day. He said he admired my Persistence. My Perseverance.”

The Liberation of Persistence – of Perseverance!

Grandpa Avery learned the lesson of Perseverance from his Father (my Great Grandfather Avery). He was a Pastor who traveled as a Circuit preacher throughout the wild and primitive Appalachian mountains on the back of a beautiful bay gelding establishing some Missionary Baptist churches, but most importantly (to me) serving the needs of the community by preaching at all of the Churches (Methodist, Lutheran, Anabaptists, Church of Christ, Seven Day Adventist, Pentecostal, Assembly of God, Catholic ..etc.) that had no pastor, no preacher or priest. Sometimes the buildings were just rundown, rickety old shacks or a family’s home.

None of it mattered. As long as Great Grandpa Avery was able to “get The Word Out” the canopy of the great blue sky would do. He followed His Intention and set it into Action. No matter the hardships – no matter the oppositions – he Struggled – he Persisted – he Persevered. He followed His Spiritual Path and Calling. He chose to Envision the Path of Christ’s Love and Life as a Path of Self Liberation, Faith, Hope and Charity and hopefully the Liberation, Faith, Hope and Charity of Others. Christ knew no barriers. He came to Liberate Us from barriers of all Shapes, Forms and Dimensions. He was the Great Liberator!

When observing the World at large, it appears there’s more Work to be done. Remember – The Liberation of Persistence – of Perseverance! Liberation is Work!

Grandpa Avery, respecting his father’s Footsteps in the Sands of Life, helped to establish a Missionary Baptist church, and became one of its deacons. In fact, he donated the Land the Pilgrim’s Rest Baptist Church was built upon. His acts of Liberation extended beyond Family – beyond expected Legacies – he Persevered!

Harvey Noel was a Good Worker. A hard Worker. A Black Field Hand. He had Worked for Grandpa. He had the audacity to buy his own place in a white community. Liberation is Work and Persistence!

Grandpa was a Free Mason. It appears some of Grandpa’s “friends” decided at a “meeting” one evening to pay Harvey “a little visit, in dirty sheets.”

Grandpa went out to Harvey’s place to warn him, and found himself between Harvey and “the gang”. The sheriff arrested Grandpa and Harvey for disorderly conduct and placed them in separate cells. Grandpa was whipped with a leather strap, beaten up and robbed in jail. He was imprisoned for about a week before they finally allowed one of his brothers to pick him up and take him home.

Viva Liberation!

Harvey and his Family moved on. To this day, no one in my family knows where they went. Harvey’s house was empty by the time my Grandfather was let out of jail. Some Human Stains need a Generation’s Balm of Loving Forgiveness and Healing.

Liberation – Independence – comes in many Places wearing many Unexpected Faces – Faces of the Small and the Tall – that’s what makes Liberation an Incandescent Phoenix Rising. An Inspiring, Persisting, Aspiration ! A Bright Soul’s Persevering Song ! Liberation ! Live On !

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