Writing is my passion. I have an undying thirst and quest in the field of writing. Some eat, drink, or use drugs when stressed; I write.
Devin Harrell, AKA “Brick” is a young man who grew up a committed church attendee who loves to go to church every Sunday. His fathers were the preacher, and his mother was the first lady. “Brick” dad died when he was thirteen years old. The love he had for his mother made him step up to become the man of the house. Shortly after, he felt like he was over his head. While Devin thought it would be easy for him to embrace greater responsibilities, the result left him seeing life as a part of God’s vast design that became frustrating.
Three years after Devin’s father’s death, his mother married again. She continued being the first lady, and her husband became the preacher of the church. Devin earns the nickname “Brick” after his father died. He endured a lot of trials and hardships that most little boys could not survive. But it was difficult for Devin to fit into the life his mother desired for him. In his stepdad’s eyes. He did nothing right and faced judgment and persecution. At fifteen, Devin met a girl named Jezebel. She enjoyed singing in the choir.
Jezebel was a sassy, cocky, selfish, and narrow-minded young woman with a mind of her own. Almost everybody saw the girl she was except “Brick.” Jezebel’s mother was a well-respected church mother who tried to raise Jezebel to be a girl to respect others. But what she did not realize is the name she allowed her sister to give her daughter describes her behaviors, a morally unrestrained woman.
Loving the Lord in every way was a church where the members showed love to the community. A church where people felt loved, and many could not wait to come back. Now, under the leadership of pastor Seal, things have taken on a whole new meaning. Many feel they needed the church’s love and support more than ever, but the closing leaves them without a significant anchor in their lives.
The buildings no longer resounded with the singing of children or members racing to Sunday school. No more members or visitors waiting to hear the preacher teach the sermon. The vast parking lots of Loving the Lord in every way Community Church sat empty. Those who regularly serve were no longer attending. One member after another vanishes, which causes canceled services, and it was another symbol of a lost chance to gather and share the love on Sunday morning.
The grand fall away from the church forces pastor Seal to ask himself some profound spiritual questions. He asks. “What is the church? What is my purpose as the leader?” “How can I fix my mistakes so people will gather in person again?” I do not want to lose my sense of meaning and purpose as a leader. I desire for people to feel welcome to come to church and worship, pray with me, an opportunity for me to advise people I am a man that realizes, I made mistakes, and I will fix my mistake. In short, what Pastor Seal is saying. “I got to clean up what I messed up.”
The doors to the church reopened, and Pastor seal is speaking on his mission to correct wrongs by cleaning up what he messed up. Many that heard his testimonies embraced him with a prayer, an open mind, and a gentle heart. Pastor Seal spoke on a specific event that shaken him to the core at 13. An incident where he felt inclinations and thought was not good. As a Baptist, we are not to have a sexual feeling of any kind, as church members accepted it to be single and celibate–but they did not affirm single and having relationships with a woman.
So, I attempt to devote my life to God and tried to ignore sexual feelings. I even tried to avoid a gathering with this much older woman that show me attention. But I allowed her to talk me into meeting her. Shortly after she walked into the room, she grabs me. She was so strong that it was like she was pulling my string. An unraveling of thin fabric (a loss of control), and she overtook me.
I did not understand what was happening then as I was a thirteen-year-old young amateur boy. This woman was a twenty-five-year-old woman that took advantage of me. Afterward, she said to me. “What we have is very special, and no one will understand our love.” She made me promise I would tell nobody. I did, and she rapes me a little over three years before I was old enough to understand what was happening to me to stop her.
The evidence that reveals our influence by our surroundings, what we do, and what we experience became something that I encounter. The path I travel involved taking an interest in and being attractive to females a lot younger than me. I was not blind to the fact that I took on the same passive behavior shown to me. As the weeks pass, I was like an endangered species. I am not proud to admit what I did was wrong. But as a child of God, I am so honored to tell it took a great sadness and loss to occur to open my eyes to want to correct my erroneous. I felt that loss and I want to do better. Sometimes you have to be tired of doing wrong to fix your sin. Of course, you cannot do it alone. So, I ask God to help me. He gave me the strength to withstand trials I could never do alone. Also, he gave me hope that removed all my desires of doing wrong.
Jezebel sits and listens to pastor Seal speak, she became angry. She thought about all the lies he said to her. How he told her, she was so beautiful, and one day she will be the first lady of the church. But, what hurts her the most is he took her virginity. Jezebel’s anger got the best of her, so she stood up with a Smith and Wesson pistol and draws it on pastor Seal. It devastated her mother. She runs over and talks to her. Enquiring, why would you want to shoot the pastor? He is not my leader. You are always acting like every girl in the church mother, being available for them, just not me. I needed you, but you were not here for me.
Vera was Jezebel’s mother’s name, and she was confused about her response. She asks her, “Whatever do you mean? Jezebel screamed you took care of every girl in the church. Make sure they dress right, talk to them about life. Available if they need you, but you allow this perpetrator called a pastor to rape at the age of fifteen while you couldn't see I needed you. Vera's mouth flew open, she was speechless. She could not believe what her ears were hearing. Tears immediately roll down her cheeks. There are no words to describe the pain she experienced, but she desired to get Jezebel to put down the gun. Pastor Seal’s heart felt as if it had stopped. He did not know how to handle the situation. Perhaps he should attempt to continuing clean up his wrong.
Three other girls stood up and told their story, how pastor Seal took advantage of them. After witnessing some of the worst outbursts, the church council attempts to ensure the situation turns for the best. Jezebel’s mother tells her, “Baby I am so sorry I was not there for you.” “You are not a victim but a survivor. I am here now, and I will never allow the unimagined thing to happen to you ever again. We will persevere through the worst times and come out of the situation stronger. Please give me the gun.
After hearing her mother’s plea, Jezebel’s replied, pastor, you need to listen, pray, and feel the movement of the Holy Spirit if you want to save your life. The purpose of being a pastor is to protect his sheep. Not to abuse, hurt, lie to them. He understands the member’s needs and that not who you are, you cannot lie to God, and I will not allow you to continue to lie to me. Following such prevailing statements, Devin stood up to comfort Jezebel.
Devin has the biggest crush on Jezebel and has had one since he saw her. When he looks at Jezebel, Devin sees an African Americans female with long black hair, brown eyes, long slinger legs, and flawless-smooth light brown skin. Although, sometimes, it’s hard for others to see the beauty in a woman as wick as Jezebel. A woman who used her body to get what she wants. Her face has a feature that males see as beautiful. Although, nobody understood Jezebel turns into an evil woman after pastor Seal abuse, lied, raped, and hurts her.
Devin walks over and hugs Jezebel. He looks her in the face and speaks. I also experience getting hurt by pastor Seal, a person who should have protected me. After my struggle of being hurt, I healed. I know what it likes to feel hurt and angry because of the actions of a wicked man, but he has changed. I lost my dad at a young age, and that was part of my biggest struggle. My most essential aspect today is to be the person who can say to you that there is a better life worth living because there still is kindness in a world that can seem so cruel. It took several years for me to heal and become the well-adjusted person I am today. You can not live your life holding hate. Because if you do, it makes the repercussions of others a preference. Of course, life will bring many challenges, such as the awful idea that happens to you, and it’s difficult to embrace when you’re suffering.
My biggest challenge was learning how to identify when it’s time to persist and when to accept. But I receive, if we cultivate acceptance in our lives, we’ll come to move forward. Things can happen that will transform who you are and impact your life. Only. You do not have to allow a situation that is out of your control to destroy your life. What helps me was finding the lesson behind every challenge to embrace my hurt instead of fighting it. Choose not to judge what happens to you. Instead. Try to accept what he did to you. Although I perceive it is hard. If you believe everything happens for a reason and that better things will follow. You’ll know that shooting him will only result in going to jail to make your life worse. Let me help you identify peace today.
Devin talks to Jezebel, and she put down the gun. But, not every situation has such a stunning end. She took advantage of his help and turns her hurt into a life lesson. Every action we take in life has a consequence, whether it is a good thing or bad. We all should know our actions affect the people in our life. No one knows what another person is going through. Therefore, it is significant to treat everybody with kindness.
The moral of this story is adults controlled how the child grows into adulthood. We all will come across obstacles in life. Only a parent’s actions can hinder or assist the way a child sees and understands what occurs around them. How they live their lives can be of strength or extreme weakness. To prevent the child from becoming overwhelmed by what is on the brink of them, adults must practice limiting the drama they bring into their lives. As a human, we all will make mistakes. But the ones that are major and very harmful are the means to clean up what you messed up to give the people in your life a fighting chance to live a peaceful life.
Also, when something unpredictable happens to you, instead of holding hatred in your hearts and desiring to destroy the person who hurt you, decide to deal with it. I know it’s tough to practice acceptance when you strongly wish things were very different. Although, you can not change the actuality, regardless of how you try. It essential you understand wanting to get even will only bring about consequences. Instead of seeking revenge, you would take the time to turn the situation into an opportunity.
The Canton Spirituals echoed Clean Up What I Messed Up in a song. It is a song that was released on their Nothing But The Hits album. Harvey Lee Watkins, Sr. founded the group in Canton, Mississippi in 1943. They released clean Up What I Messed Up on April 6, 2004. The award-winning gospel group sings: if you have done someone wrong, you got to tell them I’m sorry and start your life over again. And those of you who feel like they do, do better. I agree and believe it imperative to clean up what you messed up.
The Canton Spirituals - Clean Up
© 2021 Pam Morris