Compassionate Neighbors Testimony by Billy Flood

Full disclosure, when I was approached about giving my financial witness, mentally I froze and wondered, exactly WHEN was the last time I gave and what was the amount? Being an artist and an adjunct professor, “FLUSH” is not exactly the term I would use to describe my bank account most days. So giving of my money weekly is a hard thing to do when Capital One, Chase, my gas tank, utilities, family members, friends in need and simply life in general are demanding my limited funds. I usually give of my time and talent by offering my professional services as a singer free in the choir and my skills as an educator free to adult bible study. Be that as it may, yesterday I jumped online and gave money. I gave because I thought about what that money provides space for in my life personally. Music is so central to our worship and our spiritual experience. Being in the choir here is a community that embraced my mother and presented her with a prayer shawl when she was battling Cancer – as of today she is cancer free. Then when I found a suspicious mass, my choir embraced me with the kind of support, prayers, emails, hugs, coffee dates and love that I never thought a black, gay, radical Christian could receive in a predominantly white baptist southern church in KY. The money we give provides the literal music (it costs money folks) the salaries for Kathy and Austin, the new robes, the tuning of the pianos – you get the picture. It holds this space together and helps to create the place where community can be found. A community that held me when I was weak and needed support. The compassion of my neighbors in this choir will never be forgotten. I gave, because I have received so much. Please find a way to give today.