Honor Thy Father and Mother

posted by Dr. Jael Ever @ 7:00 AM
May 23, 2019

The first 15 verses of Deuteronomy, chapter 5, go into detail as to how people are to honor Almighty God. These are urgently important verses to which modern man in the 21st century should pay much more attention. But the 16th verse is one for which in this age of divorces, broken homes and absent parents those who claim to be Christians need to attend even more:

“Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”

Now, nearing the age of 80, I am particularly concerned that for most of my life, during which I have been either orphaned or abandoned, I have neglected to honor either of my parents as I should have done long ago. As they have both now passed on to eternity, let me at last try to make amends and obey My Heavenly Father’s commandment that my natural parents should be honored, even at this very late date!

As my father, James Edward White, died of tuberculosis a few weeks before I turned seven years old, it has been for me during several decades a struggle of survival. But I do know that he loved me very much. He and my mother, Edna Mae Bumbry White, lived in a lavish apartment up many floors that required an elevator, right on the relatively prosperously bustling block of State Street in Chicago, Illinois. A few weeks before he passed, he had purchased–on payment plans–a baby grand piano for me to learn to play music and sing.

Because he had dangerously catchable tuberculosis (TB), state law did not allow me to live with them. I could only stay a few hours or a day. So for most of my young life I had to live away from my father’s tender love. Always diagnosed to die, he had hoped to hang on until my 7th birthday–numbers were very important to him–on September 28th, but he died a few weeks short of it. (Even now doctors insist that I have TB and I tell them no, it is the mark that my father’s disease left on my lungs.)

So for the first 10 years or so of my life, I lived with relatives several blocks away from them. The main ‘kinfolk’, my mother’s cousin or so I was told, was known as ‘Mother Dear’, and even now, I remember her address at 4727 Champlain Ave. in downtown Chicago. It was a ‘four story flat’–i.e. fourth floor apartment–with three bedrooms, a living room, a bath, a kitchen and a back porch.

These were years during The Great Depression. Mother Dear had three married daughters, and all of us lived in one flat. One bedroom was split in two, and kind hard-working Mother Dear slept in half a one, and the daughters and their husbands shared the others. I slept on a blanket on the floor in the living room. The back porch had many overhead ropes, which were essential for hanging clothes which, Mother Dear and I scrubbed on washboards in the bath tubs, or wrung through rollers on an old washing machine–while the other adults went out to do what work they could find.

While my father was always a preacher of sorts, he and my mother owned and ran a ‘room rental’ agency business in downtown Chicago. And here more trouble began . . .

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