I Thank God Every Time I Remember You!
Today we celebrated the unveiling of street signs with the name of my father, Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood Sr. The most unusual aspect of the program was the assembly of several current and former members of the Detroit City Council, where my dad served for 28 years. I am in that group of persons who formerly served on the City Council. My tenure on the Council was relatively brief, only eight years.
As I looked at the current cast of City Council Members and some of the persons I served with as well as other former members of the City Council, it dawned on me how unique the gathering was. I cannot remember a time when so many of the former and current members of the Council have gathered in any one place. At the end of the program we gathered together for photos and it seemed like no one wanted to leave. I think each of us realized how unique the occasion was and wanted to take advantage of the moment. Even though members of a local unit of government like a City Council work in close proximity with each other for long terms, in our case, four years, the very nature of what it means to serve on a City Council is often adversarial. So, for so many of us to gather together today to celebrate the legislative legacy of my father, it was quite unique. I would like to thank Council Members Scott Benson and Mary Sheffield, who shared their remembrances of my father and spear-headed the effort for the street signs in his honor.
Several persons shared remembrances of my dad, including Brenda Jones, the current president of the City Council and Senator Carl Levin, who was Council President when my dad served as President Pro-Tem. Rev. Roger Miller, associate minister to my father; Jimmy Settles, National Vice President of the UAW made remarks. Dr. Charles Steel, President of the SCLC spoke. At the end of the program I asked Renee Baker Brundidge, my dad’s former secretary, to offer her personal remembrances of my dad. I was really touched with her words about the directives my dad gave to her regarding the little things in a neighborhood like the need for a basketball hoop or grass cutting, the kinds of things that mean a lot to citizens.
I believe that one of the greatest tributes we can give to people who have touched our lives in any way is simply to remember them. I find myself keeping the names of people in my phone contact list, even after they have died. I do this because I like scrolling through the names and being reminded of people who have meant something to me along the way. When you are absent or one day will die, how will you want people to remember you?
The Apostle Paul begins his letter to the church at Philippi by saying:
Philippians 1: 3 I thank my God every time I remember you,
Paul is under house arrest in Rome. The church at Philippi has written him a letter which was hand delivered. Paul writes them back and lets them know that he thinks about the church often. The greatest complement Paul can give the church is to let them know he remembers and loves them. The greatest complement we can give to those we love is to simply remember them. One of the worst things we can do for those who have meant anything to us is to simply not think about them.
Questions for Reflection:
- What are your thoughts about remembering those you have loved?
- Is there a right or wrong way to remember others?
Prayer: Lord, I thank you for every remembrance. I thank you for the memories of love. I thank you for the people who have extended kindness and sensitivity to me. I thank you for the sweet moments. I thank you for the pain. I thank you for the joy we shared. I thank you for the memories. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Pat Eussery of Renee Baker sharing personal remembrances of Councilman Nicholas Hood Sr.
Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood Sr. at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Php 1:3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.