“And so, after he (Abraham) had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” Heb 6:15 KJV

That scripture was first shared with me when I was 13 years old. My music teacher had promised to give me something special if I continued practicing the sheet music he gave me every week. Week after week I practiced old church songs such as “This Is The Day” and “He Is The King of Kings” on our upright Cherry Baldwin in our townhouse apartment in Richmond’s southside. Week after week I demonstrated my “skills” on our church’s black baby grand. One day, after we had finished the lesson, my teacher pulled out a green case. I had no clue as to what was in it, but my curiosity was piqued. “After he had patiently endures, he obtained the promise” he quoted as he opened the case to display a slightly used, but somewhat shiny flute. I’d wanted to play another instrument for years, but was not able to afford one (especially after my mom had given me the piano and the expensive set of World Book encyclopedias that I’d begged for). He told me that I could use it as I went on to another school that had a program for orchestral instruments. He complimented me and wished me the best.

As I grew older, that scripture took on new meaning. Nine years ago (has it really been that long), when I was in college, many of my female friends lamented of a lack of eligible bachelors on campus. We all knew what we were getting into when we applied to the college (6% Blacks, 85% Caucasian student body). Nevertheless we occassionally had a griping session or two.

One day, my roommate and I were getting a bite to eat on campus, taking a very well earned study break, when we saw a guy we had not seen. The brotha was dark brown, 6’2″ with very nice broad shoulders and a clean cut appearance. We both looked at each other and asked the same question “Who is that?” After deliberating over the who/what/where, not being shy, we both approached the brotha and asked “So where have you been?”

Yep, you read it correctly. We asked him where he had been and who he was since it was the first time we had encountered him on campus and we were in our third year. He chuckled and told us he was a graduate student in the school of education. We grilled him briefly which continued to amuse him. We wished him well. He did the same and we parted ways.  We were somewhat on cloud 9 on the way back to the dorm. Here was an attractive black guy with a seemingly nice personality obtaining an advanced degree to teach in the public school system. It was a refreshing change to what we were used to encountering. So that night we pegged him the “preview of the promise”.

Sometimes I see or meet guys that exhibit some of the qualities on my “man list”. It has taken a few years of grace and wisdom for me to realize that when I come across these gentlemen they are just “previews of the promise”. They are physical manifestations of things that I have prayed for or whimsically said ” A guy like ____ would be nice!” My interaction with them may be short or prolonged depending upon the setting. Sometimes they are presented shortly after conversing with a friend on facebook or after a heartfelt cry out to God. It’s almost as if God is making these various presentations and saying “I hear you. I know what you want. It may be awhile until you see the whole package presented, but I hear you. And in the meantime I’m working things out in you.”

So while I am patiently enduring in hopes of one day obtaining the promise, I’m enjoying the previews. 😉

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