Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10-13
I would love to let it go. I wish I could move on. Nothing would make me happier.
I’m exhausted from the pointed conversations, debates, innuendos and accusations. Some dialog has revealed inner thoughts from others that have been disappointing and brought up fears in myself, buried so deep; I thought they would never resurface.
I grew up in the 60s and 70s. I don’t remember the sit ins. Malcolm X’s assassination doesn’t register in my memory bank. I vaguely recall the day Martin Luther King, Jr. fell dead in Memphis shortly after his I have a dream speech.
I’ve never been told to move to the back of the bus or been bused to another town to go to a separate but unequal school. I have never drunk from water fountains or used bathrooms that were labeled Negro only. Nor have I walked to the back of the restaurant to get my food or slept in the car because I wasn’t allowed in the hotel.
I am so blessed to have been born when I was. I barely escaped Jim Crow with its lasting effects. Unfortunately, my parents and their forefathers can’t say the same.
My lack of experience with gross racism and unjust laws has allowed me to become way to secure in my skin. I’ve become naïve’. I was just beginning to think that we were living Martin Luther King’s dream.
Oh was I wrong! We have taken a few giant leaps backward. One day we’re crying with black families in their loss and the next with the families of those who wear blue.
It’s chaotic, it’s unnerving, concerning, a bit scary. But God who is rich in mercy will never leave us or forsake us.
I cringe at the thought that the youth of this generation are having these experiences. I wonder what this world will be like in five years or a decade from now. I wonder how much longer God will allow this foolishness to go on.
I don’t have the answers. But, I know a God who knows all. He is in control. Isaiah 43:2 tells us that when we are faced with challenges that could consume us, God has promised to walk through them with us. For the record, my God does not break promises.
My ancestors who were brought to this country against their will to be slaves birthed generations that eventually led to one that sits in the oval office and is addressed as Mr. President.
And yet, we are still here, in turmoil and fear.
James Wendall Johnson penned a poem that was later set to music by his brother John. That song, “Lift every voice and sing” is referred to as the Negro national anthem.
When I sing that song, I sense the spirits of those who have trod this land before me.
How did they survive?
What kept them marching forward?
Why didn’t they give up?
It was their faith in God! The only thing that will carry us through is the same. Our faith in God!
God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forgot Thee,
Shadowed beneath Thy hand, may we forever stand,
True to our God, true to our native land.