They Shot and Killed My Brother…

Police Crime Scene

Police Crime Scene

My younger brother Craig was shot and killed by a group of men during what police described as an attempted robbery.   How could this happen and I’m asking God, “why?”  Why my brother?    He was attacked by thugs who shot him and then shot my father.   My dad survived but my brother did not.  I cried like a baby when I got the news.

Today, more than 10 years later, I still feel the pain.  Even now my eyes are filling with tears as I write this message.  Tucked away in my office, I’m doing the best I can to quickly wipe away the tears but they keep falling.   Each wiped tear is replaced by several others.  God help me.  How do I handle this?  I have so many questions.  They killed my little brother and it hurts inside.  What’s more, the murderers have not yet been apprehended.

It’s my father’s birthday today and so is Craig’s.  He would have been thirty-five years old if he were alive.  One of his favorite songs was Believe by Cher.   For several years following his death, my brother’s birthday was my father’s worst day.   He would become melancholy and withdrawn as he asked God the same question I have, “Why?”   My mom has battled with the same question and her hurt hurts my heart.   She has silently faced the reality that Craig is no longer here.   I know that God is not responsible for my brother’s death, but someone is.  The loss has personally touched my entire family, my brothers, my sisters, my friends and my community.   Despite the sobering loss, I’m thankful that my father is here today and that Craig had time to make amends with God before he died.

I’m not trying to force my beliefs on you but rather to first acknowledge that despite how strong we are, there is a source greater than us and that secondly, I have found that source to be God in Christ Jesus.  What you do matters.

KJW

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Meeting Oscar-Winning Actor Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier honoured by President Obama

Sidney Poitier honoured by President Obama

My meeting Sir Sidney Poitier was without the extended entourage, fine tailored suits and clamoring reporters we often see.  It was not at the renaming ceremony of the Paradise Island Bridge in The Bahamas, nor was it during his guest of honour  appearance at Oprah’s “Dinner of a Lifetime with Sidney Poitier”  or President Obama’s honoring ceremony.

Rather, It was last weekend on the set of a video shoot for a new production by Regal Shine Films.  We were shooting in a cemetery near historic Nassau in The Bahamas.  However, the internationally acclaimed actor and diplomat was there for a completely different reason.  His limousine quietly drove into the cemetery’s parking lot and after a few minutes, a small group of persons made their way towards us.  It wasn’t until he was within 30 feet that I realized it was Sir Sidney, a few family members and a single bodyguard.  I would also later discover that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the honourable Fred Mitchell, his driver, a press officer from the government’s Bahamas Information Services and a few others were present.

However, they, like us were not the focus of his attention.  We would later greet him, shake his hands and listen to his personal words of inspiration.  But right then, it was as if we weren’t there.  Understandably, he had a singular focus.  He was there to visit his parents’ place of rest.  He first walked to his father’s gravesite and spent a few minutes in quiet contemplation.  Then he walked the extra 50 yards to visit his mother’s grave and there he sat alone with the woman who gave birth to him 85 years ago.

My emotions were torn between the enthusiasm of meeting the man who inspired my father and whose cousin was  my mother’s neighbor and the sobering sense of loss that he was likely experiencing.  It was not the first time I had met Mr. Poitier but I can’t help but wonder if it was my last.   It made me think about how fortunate I am to still have my parents alive. More importantly, the need for me to fully value them in ways that are clear to their understanding.  Truth is, we can love someone all we want but if they don’t interpret it as love that meets their need, then there’s a shortfall.

In your case, my encouragment may relate to a friend, love interest or coworker, a family member or a complete stranger.  Life doesn’t always give us that “second chance.”  Make every moment count.  What you do matters.

KJW

The Other Woman

Affair at the OfficeKaren’s married but she’s kissing her boss. I’m sitting here seeing it for myself but I still can’t believe it.  I feel the anger building inside.  Am I expected to sit here and pretend I don’t know what is happening?  Her coworker Shirlene knows what’s going on and as if on cue, delays Wade’s wife Sophia in the office next door. Sophia doesn’t suspect anything but how long will this deceitful game continue before the walls come crashing down and the truth is exposed?

Today, I am on the set of “The Other Woman” a dramatic and emotionally charged stage play, produced by twins Radel and Ranel of Redemptive Productions.   It is another day of rehearsals and the actors are an impressive bunch.   Graciously, I am one of them as is my fiancée Charlene.  You won’t believe the roles we play but I will share more about that in my future blogs.  Opening night is still weeks away but the country is already buzzing about this “real to life” Bahamian drama inspired by the styling of actor, director Tyler Perry.

How many of us know of similar true stories?   I am talking about the men and women in marriage or committed relationships that decide to go rogue?   Cheating, like most things, is a process.  It begins as a seed in the mind and grows to something more.   Some experts contend that cheating happens when an unfulfilled partner seeks fulfillment elsewhere.  To others, “stepping out” is the act of selfish ingrates who would be unfaithful under the best of circumstances.  The fact is that it happens and often results in deep hurt, anger and resentment.   However, I am not writing to castigate anyone.   But rather, to remind  us of the importance of honouring our commitments; exploring and discovering who we are and our values; openly and honestly talking with our mate or spouse about our desires, struggles and aspirations; resolving conflict in a timely manner and investing the time and effort to understand and meet the needs of our love one.  Faithfulness is a decision and a responsibility.  What you do matters.

KJW