The Trophy From God

When I was 3 1/2 years old my father and mother separated and my father took me and my brother from Las Vegas to California. We lived a short while in a town called Modesto and then later he took my brother and I to Los Angeles, dropped us off at a relatives house and said he would be back to get us in a couple of weeks after he had found a job. Unfortunately, he never returned and the relative who became our legal guardian was either insane or demon possessed. I say this because I can’t think of any other reason someone would physically and mentally torture two kids the way she tortured us. We had scars from head to toe from the daily beatings we endured. By age twelve my brother had gone and turned himself into Juvenile hall and refused to ever come back to the house of pain. I stayed as long as I could but after a while I could not take anymore and started running away and living out on the streets. But that’s another story that maybe I’ll share with you later.

We had no idea that our mother was looking for us. I couldn’t even remember what she looked like as I had been so young when we were separated. Back then nobody (including the courts) cared about two missing Black kids. She had no idea where we were as my father ceased all communication with her. Eventually we were reunited with her but that’s also another story I may share later. 8 years after he abandoned us and left us with the lunatic, we got word that he had been living in Portland Oregon and that he had confessed about us to his present wife on his death bed. Shortly afterwards he died. We then boarded a train and went to Portland for his funeral.

When we arrived I was angered to discover that my father had married another lady and had been raising her 7 kids that were not even related to him. I was also shocked to see them all crying and mourning this man that had abandoned me. I was so envious and jealous as they talked about how great a father he had been to them and how much he loved them. I was about 12 years old and my heart was filled with anger and hatred towards my dad for what he had done. I never shed a single tear at the funeral. I just sat there cursing his name which was actually my name as I was the junior. They lived in a beautiful home in a great neighborhood. Nothing like the ghetto South Central L.A. streets I called home. My anger continued to surge until I happened upon a room in the house they called the trophy room. In there I found what must have been hundreds of bowling trophies. They all had my fathers name on them. He had become a local bowling champion. Some of those trophies were bigger than me.

For some strange reason my attitude changed. For years my guardian had been saying that my mother and father were worthless no good people and that I was lower than dirt. She claimed that I was born and then tossed into a trash can. She said that was why my mother and father didn’t want me. I came from trash and would always be trash according to her. That was her reason for why my father had left us with her. He was supposedly so ashamed of us. But there in front of me was proof that my father may have been ashamed of us but he was not a worthless piece of trash. He was a champion! You have to understand that as a child who had always been told he came from trash and would never amount to anything, this was a major revelation. I stuck my chest out and paraded around the house with pride because I was the “Champions Son”. Because of that I was more than dirt! I was somebody for a change.

Before we left for home I asked my fathers widow if I could have one of those trophies. I felt I needed one of those to look at and remind myself that I too could grow up to be a champion at something some day. Unfortunately, her answer was a dry and unremorseful “No”. I cried all the way home to L.A. My brother thought that it had finally hit me that daddy was dead. But no, I was crying because I didn’t have one of those trophies. As a matter of fact we didn’t get anything that belonged to my dad. For many years after that I would cry when I thought about those trophies.

About 22 years later I was sitting at home in my new house that I had just bought. I was so thankful that God had blessed me with so much. By now God had become my sole inspiration I had become a prison chaplain that traveled all over the state to minister to inmates. This particular day the telephone rang and a voice on the other end informed me that she was my sister. I had no idea that she existed but apparently my dad had fathered two kids in Portland with a woman he had not married. I was so excited that I immediately got on a plane and flew out to meet her. It was a very emotional time as it turned out that she was the first person I had ever seen that looked just like me. We had a great time getting to know each other and vowed that we would always stay close. Today she is still one of the closest people in this world to me. As a matter of fact my sister Vecepia went on to become the first and so far only African American to win a million dollars and be crowned “Sole Survivor” on the popular TV show “Survivor“.

Anyway, I got on the return flight and was waiting for the plane to taxi towards a take off. Suddenly, there was an announcement on the PA. It said that there was a slight delay as there was someone that needed to see a passenger before they took off. I sat there in the aisle seat as the door to the plane was re-opened. Then, suddenly I saw a Black lady running towards me with tears in her eyes. She was almost hysterical as she came towards me. She literally fell into my lap in tears as she thrust a bag into my hands. She said she had heard that I was in town and didn’t want me to leave without getting what was in the bag. Then, she kissed me on the cheek and ran back towards the door to the plane and was gone just as fast as she had arrived. I opened the bag and looked inside. There I found two trophies and both of them had my fathers name on them.

So, for the second time in my life, I cried all the way home from Portland. I have never talked to her or seen her again since that day. Yes, it was my fathers widow. You know, a minister friend once told me that God wants to give us the desires of our hearts. He wants to make our dreams come true. He loves us so much that he gave his life for us. In return he expects us to live as his children and to love one and other as brothers and sisters. I believe, that for 22 years that lady was hounded by the spirit of God for not giving me that trophy when I first asked for it. I believe that that spirit hounded her so much that she could not miss her opportunity to right a wrong. She had to relieve her own conscience and make things right with God.

While in ministry, I have given this testimony many times to inmates all over California. I always bring the trophy with me and when I hold it up for all to see, they always stand and applaud what God has done. If you would like to see it, there is a picture of it on my pictures page. That trophy is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received because it confirmed to me that even in my darkest hour when I thought no one cared, God was there listening. God was there smiling knowing that one day my pain would be changed to joy as I held my trophy up for all to see. He knew that the story would touch some of the hardest and most dangerous people in society. I have seen thousands of men, women and children come to the alter to accept God as their personal savior after seeing my trophy. It is more than a bowling trophy now. It is a trophy from God, Jah, Jehovah, Jesus or whatever you may call him. That’s why I call it “The Trophy

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