Timing is Important
by Tammy Phillips
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” James 1:19
Lesbianism was not a national topic in the early 1980’s. Women were feminine and men were masculine; there was no celebration for the contrary. This was our reality when we walked into a women’s prison to present a Growing in Christ seminar. The chaplain and the instructor were seasoned; the rest of us were brand new. Incredulously, we watched the women walk into the gathering area; ninety women formed forty-five couples. Some of the women were more masculine than a stereotypical macho man. Our instructor was gracious; we reluctantly followed her lead.
The women were separated into small groups, facilitated by a volunteer. Each of us had at least four couples in our group. Irritation marked my face. At the first break, we descended on our passive instructor; “You’ve got to say something, do something about this.” Her response was, “We are guests in their house. Do what we came here to do.” This was the wrong answer, but we continued our small group facilitation after each of her lecture sessions. Several more times we begged her to address the situation; each time she Continue reading
by Tammy A. Phillips
Grandmommy always brought cheap soap; four bars in a bag for one dollar. I had only used it to wash my hands. One day I took a bath using the soap in the bag. The pain from itching was quick and severe. Immediately, I rinsed off, got out of the tub and complained, loudly.
“Grandmommy, why do you buy cheap soap? Mommy buys IVORY, and it never itches me. This cheap soap hurts.” While drying dishes, never looking at me, she said, “There is nothing wrong with the soap. You started rubbing and disturbed the dirt.”
Grandmommy’s soap reminds me of challenging commandments from the Word of God:
“…Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you… (God, I must do this for someone who lies to me?) Matthew 5:44 Continue reading
Don’t Wait Until You Feel Like It
By: Tammy A. Phillips
While my youngest sister was studying for her nursing degree, one of her classmates committed suicide. This woman was not known to the other students. However, their professor announced that the entire class would be attending this young woman’s funeral. Many complained bitterly about tolerating this inconvenience for someone they did not know. But the professor was insistent.
Begrudgingly, dozens of students showed up at the funeral home. What they saw broke their hearts: only two women stood in front of the casket; no one else was present. The women, who were the dead student’s mother and sister, turned around and almost collapsed with joy when they saw the uniformed nursing students. They profusely thanked each one for taking time out of their busy schedules to be with them. Mother and sister were convinced that others cared about their loved one. Continue reading
Where the Power Lies
Every inch of my bedroom walls, including the baseboards and doors, were covered with Jackson Five pictures and posters from the RIGHT ON! Magazine. When my sister Leslie was about two or three years old, in front of Mommy, she identified each member of the group, “ Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael.” Then she began to sing their song, “ABC”. I was so proud of Les; Mommy was not.
“What’s your telephone number baby?”
“I don’t know.”
“What’s your address baby?”
“I don’t know.”
Mommy started screaming at me. “My child knows all about The Jackson Five, but she doesn’t know her telephone number and address?!! You have two weeks to teach this child these things or I will beat your behind.” I was not a lover of pain, so I immediately enrolled Les in my indoctrination school. During bath, meals, play and our limited T.V. times, Les was grilled until she could recite and dial our telephone number, and she could tell anyone who asked our address. And I was several days ahead of schedule. Continue reading