Five in the morning, from a sound sleep and an unusual dream I rose to write this down. I dreamt that I was a guest in the home of Bill Cosby. It was a beautiful open and spacious home with tall palms and light colored furniture spread out everywhere inside. Every piece had meaning; there was no roof over us just a misty haze; it didn’t seem odd to be in the house just all so beautiful and perfectly designed. At one point I was walking around a tall tree surrounded by a white elliptical wall. I was lost in awe of the décor—in a quandary of my purpose there—when I noticed everyone else finding seats and settling down as if expecting a show. I moved to get a seat and rather by accident I found one near Mr. Cosby himself. His soft eyes, smile, and humble nod welcomed me. I offered only a low cursory, “How ya doing?” Then I scanned for a seat, grabbed a folding chair; plopped down and turned away from him. In my peripheral vision I noticed that he turned away also, and at some point after that, he’d left his seat, unnoticed by me. Later he would address those of us honored to be there at this wonderful event in his home.
It was neither night nor day, time was not a concern. The entertainment showcased a scene happening just beyond where we sat. It was the actual back yard of a typical family home with tall uncut grass and trees, wherein a boy was disruptive and disrespectful to his mother. He was hiding from her behind a tree, as she corrected him lovingly but first insisted that he give her respect by using her proper title of “mother.” Once her position and the love bond between them was established she was able to move on to her lesson for the boy. We all watched as the scene played out and suddenly it faded into a white haze and there was Mr. Cosby speaking to us with the message of: I have a name.
With mixed tones of love and stern admonishment he informed us (me) that all through our lives there will be times when we find ourselves in the presence of others who deserve our respect and our utmost humility. Respect is usually given: first by the one who is in a higher position, and is a mark of his having learned to respect from an early age; second by the one who is being recognized by him. Mr. Cosby’s main point was that we must know each other’s name and station in order to address each and everyone properly and to truly engage in relationships. Those in high places—because of what they’ve consistently proven—to be concerned and caring for others—deserve to be called by their name without exception, or disrespect is the consequence, which diminishes the relationship. If the behavior is not corrected the relationship will suffer.
God, through the Spirit, again taught me a lesson, this morning. He used a well-known personality who’s admired by millions and me too—obviously. The lesson is of course to respect our God. It’s not up for debate whether God deserves respect from the world that He created, loves, and sustains. However, the sad reality is the lack of it—and far worse the deliberate shameful attempts to remove his name—and that will cost our children, grandchildren, and us dearly. The cost is played out first and foremost in individual lives but the far-reaching consequences in society and government—in our increasingly demoralized world—will be more evident with each passing generation.
As we watch and listen to all of the media coming at us, dear Father in heaven, Lord God, help us to filter out what is disrespectful to You and to teach our children Your Holy Name and to offer You our respect always.