Friday, January 22, 2016


Don Lemon, U.S. journalist and television news anchor, really struck home when he talked on CNN about how he always dreamed of becoming a journalist. He had gone to Chicago to work as a news anchor and instead was expected to knock on people’s doors and ask questions like “How do you feel that your child is dead?” He took a stand and told his employers he didn’t want to do that. He almost got fired. He said Bishop T. D. Jakes with his inspiring sermons pulled him out of the crisis he felt he was in at the time. And Bishop T. D. Jakes is the person Don chose as being his CNN hero.

I had a similar experience when I was training as a reporter in my teens at a news agency in England. My bosses sent me to a house, where a young woman lived who had been in a serious bicycle accident. I was told to find out all I could about this victim and come back with a good story.

When I knocked on the door, the girl’s father opened it and said that his daughter had died. I was devastated. I gave him condolences and turned away, saying I wouldn’t bother him at such a time. He asked me to come in and sat me down while he told me all about his daughter. Sadly, she had been engaged.

When I returned to the office and told my bosses that the girl had died, they were over the moon at the prospect of a newsworthy piece! And they were even more elated when I told them she had been engaged. Great story, they said, and asked if I had brought back any photos! In those days it was quite common for reporters to borrow photographs even off the mantelpieces to use for their stories. I said no, that I didn’t want to bother the poor father. They told me to go back to the house and obtain photographs. I refused, so was not very popular!

I wish I’d had a T. D. Jakes in my life back then!

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