A Barber, a Yoke and a Baptism Part 2

OK…back to Marcellous…

Me and Marcellous

So…I took Marcellous to Commonwealth Chapel one Saturday night.  We had been praying for him for MONTHS.  So, it was awesome when some of my prayer warrior friends were able to put a name with a face.  Marcellous just couldn’t believe that people greeted him so warmly…and knew his name…and wanted to meet him.  He was so full of joy.  And…let me tell you…can that man sing!!!  What a beautiful voice he has!!!  Very impressive!

Marcellous shared this story with me a few days before his baptism.  We were in the emergency room during another scare.  When he was in the hospital a previous time, he had been in a diabetic coma (i guess!).  While in this coma, he was fighting and running…and everything was dark and scary.  Then, the skies turned blue and bright and a big hand came down and scooped him up.  When he looked up, he saw KK and me like angels.  He felt at such peace.  It didn’t take him long to realize that it was the hand of God.  That he had been fighting for his life…both physically and spiritually…and that God rescued him.  Marcellous simply said, “God gave me a 2nd chance, and that He must want something from me”.  I said he does…he just wants your heart.  Nothing more.  God wasn’t like anything that Marcellous knew from the street.  There was no scam. There was no hustle.  There was no hidden agenda.  All God wanted was him, Marcellous. Pure and Simple.

Marcellous quietly asked, “why did he have to wait 52 years?”  I had a hard time answering that question.  After searching through the Word, I found the perfect scripture in 2nd Peter 3:8-9.  Let me summarize it for you…our God is a patient God.  1 day is like a 1000 years and a 1000 years is like 1 day.  He is patiently waiting for everyone.

That is so comforting to know.  For those of us who are still waiting on our friends and family to know Jesus, we can be encouraged to know that our God is a patient God.

If you are one who doesn’t know Jesus….know that His yoke is light.  If you are tired, weary, and burdened, like Marcellous, know that the Lord is patient…and He is waiting for you.

After attending Commonwealth Chapel, Marcellous stated that he wanted to be baptized.  I am happy to report, that although Marcellous was weak, his foot was still bandaged, and he was unable to walk, we baptized him in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2007, 1 week  before his 53rd birthday.  We celebrated with him his new birth and his birthday.  What an awesome day!! Marcellous had also reconciled with his family during this time.  While he was in the coma, we were able to track them down knowing what little we did about him….and with the help of the internet…we were able to find his sisters!!!  I mean really….I couldn’t make this stuff up!!!

Within 2 days, Marcellous had gone to live with his sister in NC.  KK now lives with them as well.  I still pray for them, as KK adjusts and grieves for his mother…and his youth and his identity.

People used to always tell me – “Marti – You can’t save ’em all!”  And that is true.  I actually can’t save ANY of them.  But…my God can!  This keeps me praying for them both, even though we have lost contact over the years.  Those months that KK lived with me were HARD…for so many reasons.  Time and time again…KK betrayed me and my trust.  I cried A LOT during this time.  You can even ask my dentist, Dr Jeff Friend.  I actually cried in the dental chair one time!  I know…it’s ridiculous.  But, KK was not heading in the right direction…at all.  I still pray that in the middle of whatever craziness KK may go through…that he will remember what it was like to be loved…unconditionally….no matter what.

It makes me think….how in the world must God feel about me.  In the midst of all of my craziness….and stupid stuff…bad choices…He still loves me in spite of all that mess.  How I must break his heart when I try to do it on my own…and really mess things up.  But…He is always there for me.  24/7/365.  I am thankful that the hand of God….reaches down and scoops me up!  I’m grateful that He is patient with me.

Enjoy the pics of Marcellous, Emmanuel, and Marc.  In addition…there’s Riste and Butch who had the honor of baptizing him.  Thanks to all my praying friends…who prayed with and for me during this time!!!  I couldn’t have made it through without you!!!!

Emmanuel, Marcellous and Marc

Riste, Marcellous and Butch

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A Barber, a Yoke and a…. Part 1

Matthew 11

28.  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

29.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest for your souls.

30.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

One of my kid’s mom, Sondra, ended up in the hospital in mid December 2006.  She wasn’t doing too well, fighting a number of medical issues that no one in their late 30’s should have to fight.  But, a difficult life and bad decisions had led her to this place.  She checked herself out of the hospital.  Although I had pleaded with her to go back to MCV, she said that she had some things to do and would go back after the first of the year.  Unfortunately, she passed on January 3, 2007.  She left behind 4 children from the ages of 13 -18.  My kid (KK) was the youngest of the 4, and he lived with his dad, Marcellous.

Some of the youth leaders and I started spending time with KK after school until his dad could quit his 2nd job a few weeks later.  Only a week or so went by when Marcellous, also ended up in the hospital, due to complications with diabetes.  KK came to live with me.  He struggled with school…with life.  He had seen more in his short 13 years than I had seen in my life of 44 years.  His mom had made many choices to sustain her habits….choices no woman really wants to make but does anyway.  KK had seen people get shot.  He had seen drugs and alcohol be abused.  He was labeled early in life by the school system.  His siblings lived with different family members.  His older brother chose the street and was in and out of jail for various reasons.  I LOVED KK…a lot!

Marcellous was in and out of the hospital with complications.  There was a time when we thought we were going to lose him.  He rallied, but due to weakness and the need for continued care, Marcellous wasn’t yet prepared to care for his son.

KK went to live with his Aunt in NJ for the summer.  Marcellous eventually got stronger.  I spent many hours with him…as he no real friends or family.  He left his family years ago.  Then…one night he accepted the Lord as his Savior.  He wanted to go to church, but was still in rehab…learning to walk again.  But, he didn’t want to go with his hair long.   You see…his fro was about 3 inches high.

I went on a mission to find someone who would cut his hair at the rehab center.  I could find NO ONE who was willing to go.  Until Marc (you know…my friend at work) introduced me to Emmanuel.  Emmanuel has a barber shop called Edify 360 on Hull and Turner.  HE was willing to come…but it wouldn’t be until about 9pm at night.  I turned him down at first.  Not wanting to inconvenience him….come clear across town at that time of night.  But…I finally relented.  And I am SOOO glad that I did!!!

WOW!  Marc, Emmanuel and I rolled up to the rehab center.  I had NOOO idea what I was getting into.  Neither did Marcellous for that matter!  Meanwhile…Emmanuel wasn’t sure what he was doing either.  He wasn’t quite sure about me…and my heart.  But….after that night…let’s just say…we were all convinced it was a divine appointment!

Emmanuel proceeded to not only cut his hair, but he also encouraged and build him up (note the name of his shop…EDIFY!!).  As Marcellous said, “Miss Marti…I didn’t know I was getting a cut AND a sermon!” with both hands in the air…thanking God and Emmanuel.  Emmanuel did more than edify Marcellous.  He touched my heart that night.  How he was an ordinary barber…doing extraordinary things!!!  To this day….Emmanuel and I have done this more than once.  His wife Marsha says….”When Miss Marti calls, Emmanuel goes!”  I LOVE her and their 2 beautiful kids for sharing her husband and their dad with me in the ministry of loving God and loving others.  Although…it is NOT unusual for at least one of them to tag along.  Emmanuel is modeling what it is to be on mission with Jesus to his family.  May God BLESS Edify 360 and the Gayot family!!!  (Shameless plug for Edify 360!)

God wasn’t done with Marcellous yet…so neither am I. The story is going to require another post.  Stay tuned for part 2.  In the meantime…

Go see Emmanuel at Edify 360 and get a great haircut. You just might run into Marc or Louis there.  Give ’em a hug from me!  I love them all…and you will too!