Friday, April 2, 2021

The April Fool of 2021, plus it's Good Friday, and RED Friday

A great good morning to all my friends and neighbors in Internet Land! And to family members who have dropped by, this story will not come as a surprise.


The blog title is “The April Fool of 2021;” but if I were writing this as a 19th century adventure, I would most assuredly add 
How Dr. Joseph Cousin, Senior, 
and I 
Combined Efforts 
To Produce 
Goodness From Goofiness.”

Despite appearances, you ARE getting a massively edited version of the events taking place on April 1, 2021. This is a John 21:25b-type event! (If I wrote it in detail, even the world itself couldn’t contain it…)

So, dispensing with the HIGHLY significant and relevant 1995 events, as well as those from 2001,  2011, and 2020s, even MOST of 2021 events (!), I present to you the story of how The Reverend Doctor Joseph Cousin, pastor of Allen Temple AME Church of Woodstock, and the Forward Focused Thursday broadcast, combined with my own gifts (!!) to play the best April Fool Joke on me EVER!!!

If you wish to know the background, you will find it in the breathtaking true-life story of “The Church Lady and the Motorcycle White Boy, Volume II,” which is still being written. And lived.

For reasons, every Thursday at noon since November, I have made it a priority to listen to Allen Temple AME’s Facebook live stream, “Forward Focused Thursday.” The patriarch, Bishop Philip Cousin, is joined by two of his two sons, Dr. Michael Cousin, Sr, and Dr. Joseph Cousin, Sr, and by grandson Reverend Steven Cousin Jr, with grandson Reverend Timothy Cousin making frequent appearances as well. (All these men are AME pastors, and the godly heritage itself is enough to commend it to listeners.)

I never finish the live stream as the same person I was when it started. Sometimes challenged, sometimes comforted, usually both; it’s an exposure to probably two centuries of combined experience of godly men. (Must I state explicitly that they all, particularly the 89 year old Bishop, bring a perspective that I can only PARTLY comprehend, and that’s my reason for tuning in?)

Yesterday, I go to the live cast as usual. Almost immediately, the team reminds me that this is Holy Week, when we remember the arrest, torture, and crucifixion of Jesus; yet, knowing the RESURRECTION is coming. Deep thoughts, not only of first century events, but what we can do TODAY. And I’m thinking those thoughts, when…

...a little past the six minute mark, Pastor Joseph says this is pre-recorded, because he has been asked to attend a “rally/press conference/event” to protest some legislation placing restrictions on the voting processes.

Since I am under a self-imposed ban on news, I wasn’t aware of this issue, so I paused the stream, and googled “Atlanta Voting Protest.” And THIS  is the result I found. The article states that a protest to Bill 531, to restrict some voting rights, was being held at the Capitol, starting at 5:31 AM, and going to 5:31 PM. 


O Best Beloved, if you have clicked on that link, and seen the article, did YOU catch the TWO alerts that I missed? Yes? No? I’ll tell you later, in case you missed them, as I did.

"That's a good cause," I thought. "I need to go to that, and take Kenneth." He's my 16 year old son, and was home yesterday. 

"Come on, Kenneth, put on your shoes and socks. I'm going to take you to your first protest demonstration!"

(SQUAWK SQUAWK!! “Protest? Protest WHAT?” SQUAWK! SQUAWK!!!)

But, he’s a good and cooperative young man, and in a moment or two, he does appear, wearing shoes and socks. 

I want to get there, participate, and get back home before the traffic gets bad. It’s about 12:30, I figure it will take us an hour to get to the Capitol, find a place to park, and walk to the event. So, minutes count; which is why I don't even finish listening to the rest of Forward Focused Thursday. They are around 10 minutes in, at this point, and talking about football, about which I know little and care less, so I just hit the PAUSE button, and down the road Kenneth and I go. 

I will spare you from hearing the chants I told Kenneth he would have to learn before we got there. 

“It’s a protest, Kenneth! Of COURSE you have to chant.”
“I don’t want to chant,” he replies. “It bothers people.”
“That’s the POINT!” I said.
At the Capitol, we do find a protest, and some of the protesters are wearing "VOTE" facemasks, but they are there for something else. 
I eventually discover NO ONE is there for protest against 531, and that the 531 protest was: 
last month. 

This rally was in support of the family and cause of Justice for Jamarion (Robinson), who would have been 31 years old today. I wept, hearing his story; could have been my Kenneth. Could easily have been me, at that age.

When we get back home, I discover that the Channel 11 news item I had seen was dated MARCH 1, not APRIL 1. And that the protest took place on a MONDAY, not a Thursday. (Didn't notice that.)
Then, I listen to the rest of the Forward Focused Thursday cast, and at around 33:00 hear Pastor Joseph say that he is headed to the World of Coke for the protest event.

Wrong cause.
Wrong place.
Wrong month.

Other than that, everything went GREAT! 

I had a great time with Kenneth, and was deeply moved by Jamarion's story. 
I got to take Kenneth to his first protest event:
One of the organizers and Kenneth, 
because I needed a pic to send to Vanessa,
who had no idea what I was doing

And I learned another lesson in the sweetness of willingly accepting a drink from the Cup of Humiliation! It burns horribly if you resist, but it goes down like cool balm for the soul if you accept the correction. 
Habakkuk21b: “I will keep watch to see what He will say to me, and how I may reply when I am reproved.” 
If my reply is “Yes, Lord,” then I can laugh at my foolishness, and not be ashamed.
So, laugh with me!    

Peace be on your household.

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