Rich Rats and Poor Dogs

Our storeroom is designed for non-edibles. Things like spare car parts, essential power tools that I brag about, but never use and old fishing gear that I faithfully take out for my alternate decade outdoorsman activities. We are typical Americans. We collect stuff. In 32 years of marriage we have amassed a fortune of things which we can neither evaluate objectively, give away nor sell. We hope our kids want it, but they have no doubt begun their own collection of American treasures. The prospect of no future generations laying claim to this mountain of wealth made seeing the rats run through our treasures in the storeroom even more distressing.

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Comfortable, Well Adjusted Negroes

Martin Luther King Junior is often quoted as saying he intended to ‘comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable'. It is in this same sense that he went on to describe himself as a maladjusted person in one of his essays on nonviolence. In this essay, Dr. King writes thusly:
Modern psychology has a word that is probably used more than any other word. It is the word "maladjusted." Now we should all seek to live a well adjusted life in order to avoid neurotic and schizophrenic personalities. But there are some things within our social order to which I am proud to be maladjusted and to which I call upon you to be maladjusted...., I call upon you to be as maladjusted as Amos who in the midst of the injustices of his day cried out in words that echo across the generation, "Let judgment run down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream..."

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Dime a Dozen

For this job, all he needed was to show up earlier than the other several hundred men did.  He did need to be clothed.  That would help in the selection process.  Other than that, a strong, sturdy, and straight back was all that was required. Jobs are very hard to come by and hopeless men can be had for, well a dime a dozen!

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Here's Your Change Jesus - A Legacy of Selfishness

We are familiar with Jesus' parable of the talents. But the passage as I read it lacked a little punch to it. So, in the margins of my own Bible I added one more servant to the passage. This guy was given not five, not two and not one talent. This servant that I added was given 20 talents. Yeah, I know I am not supposed to add to the Bible, but its only in the margins so I think I am okay.

Anyway, it just so happened that this guy took his talents and did not invest it like the other guys, nor did he hide it under a rock. Instead, he had a party! It was a great party. Everyone who was anybody, or thought he was anybody came to the party.

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Hampered by Hope

He was barely alive, if you can call it life. The energy acquired by each breath was just enough to take the next one. His head bobbed back and forth as he breathed almost ready to detach from his wasted, skeleton like frame. He was the first in a line of 5 patients that day with whom I would share the cursed word ‘cancer'. The other 40 or 50 waiting outside would not hear that word today.

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I Am Glad I Am Not Yo' Momma!

Matthew 15:3-9

One of the most frustrating things to me when talking to men and women of African descent is this constant use of the term; "motherland". I have actually come to hate that term. Maybe that is not what I mean. I guess I hate the way the term is tossed about like something of great dignity and pride, but there is no real commitment to anything other than lip-service to this glorious motherland. I would say to most people of African descent who use this term' I am glad I am not yo' momma!"

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A Crying Man

There was a man crying in my office and it made me feel very uncomfortable. He was not even on my list of patients to see and I really did not want to be bothered with him. Nevertheless, he sneaked in quietly after I had thought I had seen my last patient. Here he was, crying in my office. I should be used to it by now. After all, I have actually caused many people to cry. I have been charged with the ministry of telling a lot of people a lot of bad news. It has become so common for me to do this, that I can almost do it in my sleep. Come to think of it, I have done it in my sleep. I awaken in the middle of the night to the remembrance of the several people to whom I have given heart wrenching reports.

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I Cannot Weep

I cannot weep with you brothers as I have already spent my emotion. While home in the US for a few weeks, I continued to make appeals to my kinsmen of the African diaspora. The responses I get are amazingly disappointing. The complaints are myriad. Malpractice is too high, office expenses must be met, no one to cover me. It goes on and on. Your complaints are real and legitimate. It is difficult for me to get broke up emotionally over these issues which confront you my brothers and sisters, as I have already spent my emotion on the young boys and girls who have no one to help them swallow their AIDS medicines. They have no one to treat them for the chronic osteomyelitis, or the chronic otitis media with the draining pus from their ears. You see, my list goes on and on too. I cannot weep for you as my emotions are already spent. I take care of women who cannot find anyone to perform a simple pap smear and come in with aggressively invasive carcinoma of the cervix, infiltrating both bowel and bladder, Tuberculosis and malnutrition.

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About Dr. Michael Johnson

altDr. Michael Johnson is an African American missionary surgeon, who served in Kenya with his wife Kay, from about 1990 until 2011. While continuing orphan care in Kenya, they now are located in the Philadelphia area and have begun ministry to ex-offenders, to those with unwanted pregnancies and to people needing health care. Here is their new website. Dr. Johnson can write with a scalpel, as well as operate with one, excising and bringing healing. You must read Michael.

Dr. Johnson presented a comprehensive view of his ministry and the African American church and missions at the African American Missions Seminar at Columbia International University in January 2008. Go here to see it and here to download it.

The 2008 revised edition of his very insightful and provocative book Making the Lame Man Blind can be purchased by contacting Paula Kushman at World Gospel Mission, POB 948, Marion IN  46952-0948. You may also order by phone by calling 765-671-7206 Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays (or leave a message any day).  The cost is $12.00 and shipping is about $3.00.

Dr Michael Johnson

Kay Johnson

A community development program, resulting in dozens of new wells for pure water in Kenya.