Faith of a mustard seed

Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

“And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It hurts you to kick against the goads.’ And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?; And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand upon your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you to serve and bear witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from the people and from the Gentiles— to whom I send you to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” (Acts 26:14-18). Faith’ in the Acts of The Apostles.

This 3rd recording of ‘Paul’s Conversion and Call’ in Acts to ‘Christ’(ian) mission is his 2nd telling, again before the judiciaries who hold him captive. New this time is the adding of the direct message from the Lord— “It hurts you to kick against the goads”.

With only 3 uses of ‘kentra/goads’ in New Testament, this concept is seen in the zoological writings of Aristotle. It is the ‘sting of the scorpion’ (as also in Revelation); the ‘quill of the porcupine’; the ‘claw of the bear’. ‘Goad’ is the pain, discomfort and dissatisfaction brought on by the use of power in the preservation of life. In the hands of man ‘goad’ is the ‘prod for cattle’; the ‘stick for oxen’; the ‘staff for the sheep’. It is significant to note also that Paul is now indicating that The Lord spoke this to him in the Hebrew language for the Old Testament use of ‘goad’ references the power of God over the rebellious nature of hu(man).

The current ‘foreclosure’ legal process in Tennessee has placed me in the Center of Paul’s dilemma with the judicial system in Caesarea— passed from governor to governor to King, and yet no justice, all while being held hostage.

In a circumstance where the mortgage payment ‘was paid every month’; and the national public knowledge base indicates the gross abusive use of funds received from homeowners— there remains NO LAWS GOVERNING FORECLOSURE in the state of Tennessee! This led me to take a look at the State Legislature. Where the state of Tennessee is divided into three (3) Senate Regions, 1) East Tennessee has eleven districts with ALL ELEVEN SENATORS white, republican; 2) Middle Tennessee is divided into thirteen districts with ONE BLACK senator; and 3) West Tennessee is divided into nine Districts with TWO BLACK senators. The facts are that of THIRTY-THREE Senators who make the laws for the state of Tennessee, THREE of THIRTY-THREE, 3/33 are Black! An additional look at the most recent activity of the Tennessee Legislature reveals the laws concerning Guns— now legal to carry guns in parks???; with additional legislation to carry guns in restaurants??? One of those things that make you go ‘huuuuuum!” But then, Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed by a gun(shot) in Tennessee! 20,000 foreclosures already reported in 2009 in Tennessee and NO LAWS TO GOVERN this process!!!!

While it is the ‘goad in the hands of man’ that is deliberately holding Paul’s life hostage, it is the ‘goad in the hands of The Lord’ that will set him free.

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