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"I Miss My Friend"

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Hardy L. Brown
In the movie “The Shawshank Redemption” starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman” Morgan’s character recites a line about Tim’s character “I miss my friend.” They met while imprisoned and became close friends. They served for many years together and Tim, who was serving time for a crime he did not commit and Morgan for a murder he did commit. Tim broke out of prison, thus leaving a void of friendship for Morgan that led to the line I remember so well, “I miss my friend.” Morgan was eventually released years later after serving forty years of a life sentence.  Tim told Morgan if you ever get out to look him up on a beach somewhere south of the border. The movie comes to and end with both of them reuniting on the beach.

Well this past week, one of my friends, Rev. Roy “Brother Roy” Harris dropped in on me with his family.  We were never in prison unless you would count living on the Westside of San Bernardino as a prison. Our friendship grew out of our close relationship as workers in the communication business and our love for our Lord Jesus Christ. Brother Roy had a radio program on KUOR at the University of Redlands that he broadcast every Sunday morning. “God’s Good Old Gospel Music” he would say.

Every Sunday morning I would go by the radio station to see Brother Roy after delivering my papers to the churches in the communities of San Bernardino, Rialto, Fontana, Ontario, Riverside, and Moreno Valley with the last stop in Redlands. I would be listening to the music played by my friend Brother Roy over the radio. Once I was at the station of course brother Roy would have me speak to his huge listening audience.  I remember Roy announcing the birth of his son Ubrail to all of us. I remember his wife Carolyn saying she would never get up at four in the morning to do the program. Well before they moved to Texas, guess what?  Sister Carolyn was called into the ministry and was cohost to God’s Good Old Gospel Music with her husband.  Our daughter Regina became the babysitter for Ubrail so the family had a special bond. Then there was the time when Hardy II was on deaths bed and Brother Roy announced it over the radio for the saints of God to pray for him. The entire church community prayed in unison for a boy they never met because of Brother Roy’s program. I like for all to know Hardy is doing just fine today and talked with him in person Tuesday.  I cannot count the times we broke bread together around each others table sharing each others plight with our place of employment or what God would have us do in certain situations. I remember when Brother Roy was offered his church and that required a tremendous decision from him. When he decided to go fulltime God moved him from a shopping center store front into a church on Waterman Ave.

I was sad to see he and Carolyn leave our area because they were such a blessing to our community and my family in particular. I had just mentioned to my wife several days ago that I missed Brother Roy with his God’s Good Old Gospel Music and then he dropped in.  They are here in celebration of their 25th wedding anniversary where they renewed their vows at Rev Hubbard’s Community Church in Redlands. Yes I miss seeing my friend but he told me he stays in touch with us every week through www.blackvoicenews.com. It was nice to lay eyes on him, Carolyn and Ubrail.

City Council: Caution on Violating One’s Rights

The city council in San Bernardino sent the pastor of a church in the city to not grant employment to a man who was convicted as a sex offender. The discussion came about when someone leaked a letter to the council members that was written by the police chief to the pastor of his investigation of the matter that no laws were being violated by the church. The city council is saying that since the city contracts with them for youth services they want the church in essence to give up its main mission of forgiveness and redemption of the fallen.  The pastor has rejected the council’s demand and I cannot blame him. If the fallen cannot find re-entry back into the community through the church then we are all doomed. Now mind you, of the ones requesting he not be employed at the church, are the same ones who advocate no prevention or intervention programs.  I caution the council that while you have a responsibility to protect the citizens, you should do so without politics entering into leaked letters or violating the rights of anyone including people with prior convictions.

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