(Todd A. Smith)
Genesis 50:20-21 reads, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid: I will provide for you and your little ones. And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.”
Possibly, those Bible verses resonated with bird watcher Christian Cooper, whose racially-charged encounter with Amy Cooper in New York’s Central Park went viral in 2020 while the nation watched in horror as George Floyd had his life ended at the hands of brutal ex-cop Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis.
Now, that encounter has led to Christian Cooper receiving a blessing that he might not have even seen coming.
Christian Cooper and Amy Cooper, no relation, encountered each other as Amy Cooper walked her dog and Christian Cooper watched birds in a particular part of Central Park, which requires dogs stay on a leash.
When Christian Cooper asked Amy Cooper to follow the rules and put her dog on the leash, Amy Cooper took the encounter to another level telling 911 operators that an African-American man was assaulting her and her dog in Central Park.
However, by the time officers arrived on the scene, both had left the area.
Rightfully so, many African-Americans were appalled that the woman would use White fear in her call to 911 operators because encounters with police officers can often lead to death for African-American men like it did for Floyd.
What if the cops had believed her story and approached Christian Cooper with the mindset that he was a criminal based on the false claim that Amy Cooper made?
Would he have ended up being another hashtag like Floyd?
Thankfully, it did not come to that.
But how many incidents like the Central Park incident have ended in death or imprisonment for innocent African-American men?
Probably too many to count.
But the incident highlights something our God-fearing parents and grandparents instilled in many of us since childhood.
If God is for us, who can be against us?
Amy Cooper tried to rely on her White privilege and her own ignorance, thinking it would have a negative effect on Christian Cooper.
However, the opposite happened.
Amy Cooper faced a charge for making a false claim against Christian Cooper.
She also lost her job after her racial stereotypes and tropes went viral.
On the other hand, Christian Cooper has secured a job hosting an upcoming bird-watching television show on the National Geographic network.
But those types of blessings just do not happen to people like Christian Cooper.
Those blessings happen for everyone who puts God first in their life.
Sometimes, haters can help a person more than a person’s supporters because God can use a hater to redirect you when you are going in the wrong direction.
Or God can use a hater to end a relationship (business or personal) that has run its course and has served its purpose.
As human beings, not just Christians, we often look at the disappointments in life as actual disappointments when sometimes they are actually blessings.
Sometimes getting terminated from a job can led to a person landing their dream job.
Sometimes breaking up with someone can lead to finding the right spouse.
And sometimes, what a person thought would ruin or embarrass them can be the type of publicity they need to take their career to the next plateau.
My mother often tells me the story of how she dreamed of becoming a school librarian when she entered the education field in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
However, she got comfortable working as a reading specialist, a job where she only had to focus on helping students individually with their reading skills and not an entire classroom of students.
For no reason, her former principal revamped the entire school and placed my mother in a classroom teaching social studies.
Upset at her new job title, my mother took a job in a rival district.
At the beginning of the school year, her new principal told her she needed a librarian and with my mother’s credentials as a reading specialist, she had enough experience to start as a librarian while completing her certification in library sciences from Prairie View A&M University.
Therefore, what my mother saw as a disappointment was actually God moving her out of her complacency into her destiny.
Many people know that I am a regular guest on the “Isiah Factor Uncensored” on Fox 26 Houston (KRIV) and Fox Soul.
Isiah Carey, the host of the show, rose to fame because of a viral video of him reacting to a bug flying in his mouth while he attempted to give a report.
The video is often titled “Reporter Goes Ghetto” on social media sites.
What many thought might have hurt his career actually catapulted him to fame.
Any given day, social media influencers and celebrities tweet out that video or mention it in a song or a television show.
Those same celebrities regularly stop by “Isiah Factor Uncensored” when in Houston to appear on his show, as it has become a necessary press stop when in H-Town.
What Carey might have thought was detrimental to his career will always put him in the spotlight.
And as Carey often says, “Look at God.”
Although the devil is always busy, as Carey also often says, God can use all the devil’s busy ways to get a person to their true blessing.
It looks like that happened in the case of Christian Cooper.