The Lesson He Taught

Inspirations – My Dad, Mr. Vincent Augustus Davis, Sr. (Natural Birth: May 13, 1951 ~ Eternal Birth: January 27, 2003) & Ronnie Laws – Friends & Strangers

It has been 13 years since my father, Vincent Augustus Davis, Sr., went home to be with IMG_0858the Lord. In the last few years, I’m more into the music my parents would listen to. My sisters, mother, and I always talk about how my dad loved his jazz. It’s funny, because you could always tell his mood by the music he’d listen to. From Kenny G, to War, to Temptations, to Boney James, to Bill Withers, to Roy Ayers, and so forth. But there was one artist that he would listen to on any given day, Mr. Ronnie Laws. As a lil’ dude out in the yard cutting grass with Dad, he would have his beer with him and the radio would be on blast with Mr. Laws.  One of my favorite songs is Tidal Wave… but Dad had another one that we all liked, Friends & Strangers…

One thing about Dad; he was a quiet man. Always watching his surroundings. He was not one to call everyone friend.  His circle consisted of my godfather, Larry “Vann” Cousins… my uncle, Haywood P. Barnes, Jr., Mr. Larry Coker, Mr. Paul Bess, and Mr. John Allen. There were a few folks from the shipyard as well. Vincent, Sr. had a genuine love for everyone, but he was very conscious of who he went around. He never threw around the word, friend, causally at all. Today I think back on that and realize I’m the same way. I do it without thought. Yet my circle of friends isn’t small, but still strategic like Dad’s. Often, I wonder though, why Dad was like that? And then it hit me… Dad had something that each of us should ask God for on a consistent basis… Discernment.

A time back, my god-brother and I spoke about how sometimes folks will try to take advantage of the weak for the purpose of exploitation. It angers me, because many of us are in position to be a blessing, yet we choose to be a curse. Yet if we ask God to give us discernment, we can then start to see if folks are for us or against us. When I think back, Dad was good for this. He could always tell if someone meant good or harm. After all these years, I think I understand the lesson that Dad was trying to teach me…

A friend will always be real with you. A friend will tell you what you need to hear; good or bad. A friend will hold you accountable. A friend will honor and respect your personal relationship with God. A friend will pray for and with you. A friend will love you as Christ loves us all.

A stranger can come and go. A stranger could possibly take advantage of you. A stranger will tell you what you want to hear. A stranger could bring harm. A stranger could be good or bad… could fake like a friend, but you must discern.

THOUGHT:  Everyone comes into your life for a reason. Some for a season… some for a lifetime. You must ask God for the gift of discernment so that you know who is for you and against you.

An additional lesson that Dad taught me… For those that have been in your life for years, even decades, and have always remained consistent, genuine, God fearing… Hold fast to those folks.

Thanks for the lesson Dad. Love you.