A servant to few, an inspiration to all

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 21, 2013

In the last 10 years, I’ve been to no more than five movies. Two of those were within the past three months. One was “42,” the story of Jackie Robinson. On Monday, Jeanne and I wanted to see “The Butler.” It was a movie inspired by the real life story of Eugene Allen, an African-American butler who served at the White House during eight administrations from Truman to Reagan.
I enjoy movies that tell the story of people who left a positive mark on society. I have to admit “The Butler” told more about the history of America during Mr. Allen’s service than I expected. Being interested in politics, I thought it would focus only on the activities in the White House. It was a history lesson of things that took place during my lifetime that I needed to be reminded of.
It started with the grim reality of slavery during the late ‘20s. It told of Allen’s boyhood nightmares and struggles through a life of frustration. That didn’t interfere with his loyalty and effectiveness to his job, a job some would consider a meaningless servant. The movie covered the Vietnam War, the protests that followed, the Civil Rights movement and his son’s involvement as a member of the Freedom Riders, who were abused and jailed. It exposed the character and disposition of some of our presidents. It shared how Mr. Allen’s wife persevered to keep her family together. In my opinion, the movie was well done, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I don’t know how much
of Mr. Allen’s story was accurate except that he served his country, his
family and his race with courage and dignity. It reminded me of the Word of God, which says to be great among many, you have to
be a servant to all. It’s exactly what Jesus did. In Proverbs 22:29, the Bible says, “Do you see a man who excels in work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men.” In his lifetime, Mr. Allen was a witness to those Scriptures.
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