Romans 8:16 (KJV)
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
As I have said many times, it was a true blessing to grow up in my family. Dad worked out of town to provide a good living, and Mom managed the household and the family money well. Things were run in the Britt home like a fine turned car. It worked like clockwork. Dinner was on the table at 5:00 and you ‘best’ not be late! Balanced meals were served with milk to drink each evening. My Grandparents attended each and every family meal. The day’s events were discussed around the table, and Mama would usually get tickled at some point!
Bad words were never spoken at my house. Getting caught saying stupid, crap or shoot would get you a free trip to Mama’s wood shed, and no one in the family liked to go there! I still slip up every now and then and say the word shoot. Every time I do, I can’t help to think of my Mom. I laugh and then I repent! Off colored jokes were never told and racial slurs were a thing unknown to me.
I was raised in the 60’s and I can remember black and white news clips shown on my television of people being mistreated. I remember my heart would always hurt. Although I do not remember lengthy discussions about this topic, I do remember my Mother saying it was sadness and for us to pray.
In the year of 1981 I became pregnant with my first born child. My husband worked for a local Equipment Rental Store and I worked at a large bank in Birmingham Alabama. Excited would not even begin to tell you how we felt about the good news that our first child was on the way. We were "off the charts"!
We had been married five years and had tried a long time before we became pregnant; it was hard for my parents and I as well. They lived 750 miles away from me in Grand Prairie Texas, and a phone call to them was the highlight of my day! My life was filled with great joy, and God also had placed another co-worker in my life to love, support and spoil the first time pregnant girl!
Mary Ellen was 67 years young. She had beautiful skin, pearly white teeth, and a smile that would light up the bank. She worked from payday to payday hoping her health would hold up sosomeday she could retire. Her bank uniform was an old fashion black Maids dress with a white lacey apron. As ugly as her uniform was, Mary Ellen wore it with great pride. I affectingly nick named her “My Mary Lou!” She was a precious soul. It was not uncommon for her to clock off, leave work and drive to Wendy’s to bring me back a frosty; she was a very thoughtful person.
My surprise Baby Shower was planned by her, and it was beautiful. It had all the cute baby trimmings and mounds of food. “My Mary Lou” was sent from God. She was a wise Christian woman.
Back in that day the bank employed a cleaning lady and a cook to prepare the staffs lunch every day. They hired Mrs. Mary Ellen. One dollar a day would buy you a fried or baked chicken breast, the vegetable of the day, a roll, and an apple! It was fabulous to have an on sight cook. Mary Ellen worked hard cleaning our two story branch and put lots of love in preparing our meals each day.
When I was around seven months pregnant, I decided to treat my sweet friend to lunch. Across the bank parking lot was a drug store, and they made the best bacon cheeseburgers served with chips, a pickle, and a cherry coke! Payday was just around the corner and I explained my grand plan to “My Mary Lou.” Strangely she answered yes but said she would prepare my lunch just in case.
Payday arrived, the Lobby doors closed and I hurried around to get my money drawer balanced.
Off to the drug store we went. Holding hands and swinging them as we crossed the parking lot. We walked into the drug store and set down at the first booth. We were greeted by the store owner. He came out and politely said, “Mrs. Malone, I value your business but I will not be able to serve you today!” REALLY, I thought!!!! For goodness sakes this was the year of 1982 and NOT the year 1962!!! You see, My very dear friend, Mary Ellen, was African American. I left the drug store brokenhearted, and it was a quite walk back to the bank.
Mary Ellen broke the rules of the bank that day by setting down at the table with me in the break room. She literally tore pieces of chicken up and fed me like a baby bird. I was sobbing. I told her that eight tellers worked at our large branch and seven tellers watched us skip across the parking lot to eat at the drug store!!! NOT one person whispered in my ear that it could create a problem. NOT ONE!!!
As Mary Ellen spoke to me that day, her words were soft, yet I pondered on each one that came out of her mouth as though it was coming through my ears from a loud speaker. She first told me that I was different and for me to always remember to neverchange. She said people were raised in ignorance and for me to always forgive because others did not know how to act. Her words of wisdom meant the world to me. She said I viewed her as a friend and others viewed her only as a lowly maid. It was the very first time in my life to hear the term diversity, and she explained it well; she taught me the true meaning of friendship.
“My Mary Lou” is now home with Jesus. When I go up in the rapture I hope she is waiting for me at the gate with a little piece of heaven… her famous fried chicken!
All of my childhood life lessons were taught to me at the feet of my Mother. Examples were lived out by my Father. Red & Yellow, Black & White they are precious in HIS sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world!
Proverbs 17:17 says: A friend loveth at all times. Be a true friend. Remember it takes being a good friend to have good friends. Be an honest friend, speaking only in love and always remembering to center your entire life on Christ!
It is important for us to share our stories.
They are our Christian Maps to change a hurting world.
Everyone needs a true Christian friend.
Everyone needs the love of God.
Everyone needs to meet Jesus! Is today your day?
Much love & joy,
Pamela Britt Malone (Instagram~ pammiemalone)