Good Morning Beloved. Grace and Peace to you on this Pentecost Sunday.
George Flloyd, Ahmaud Arbery – both assassinated -murdered just weeks apart – no more breathe in their bodies – Imagine George gasping “I can’t breathe” and calling for his deceased mom (And there are hundreds more African American men and women like Michael Brown Eric Garder, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor – assassinated, murdered in cold blood – many right before our very eyes – And we must not ever say they died as if from natural causes – no they were murdered in cold blood).
And On the other side of the Atlantic, we see in South Africa where I live – Dr. Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma – the South African Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and former Chairman of the African Union – though above reproach, publicly insulted, maligned even shown as a monkey – and while yes she is still breathing, nevertheless she is being lynched by WMC and their cohorts for doing her job in an excellent way to help her people, in fact all South Africans and still goes to work every day as a beacon of integrity and light.
In the Ivory Coast – Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank – though innocent, publicly lynched by the aggressive, arrogant, currently very weak and anaemic White America and its cohorts – and while yes, he is still breathing, nevertheless he is being lynched for doing his job in a most outstanding way to create new opportunities for Africa and her children as a tower of strength, and with competence, innovation, ingenuity and integrity goes to work every day for the benefit of all of us, every day.
These four were deeply in my heart of sorrows on this day of Pentecost. Pentecost, just 49 days from the recognition of the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Yeshuah HaMashiach (aka Jesus the Messiah).
This day which should be one of joyful hope as it is the commemoration of the descent of the Holy Spirit into the world to guide us, to help us, to teach us, to comfort us, but alas I started out with very little comfort, this Pentecost morning. If we recall, the disciples had gathered in Jerusalem for the celebration of Shavuot -the feast of weeks – the celebration of the harvest, waiting, as directed by the Messiah for the promise of the Holy Spirit. All of this signalling hope, newness, celebration, recognition of God’s great power.
Yet, all I could think of was – these four lives – these four lives being destroyed for just being Black. Living while Black, working while Black, serving the needs of others while Black, shopping while Black, walking while Black, jogging while Black – and not just them – all of us who are living while Black are at risk, in a world of weak, hateful, fearful, violent, irrational, greedy, people who have made our skin colour the target of their hatred, evil, wickedness, their lynching, their violent nature and acts of terror, their assassinations, torture, murder – death of innocents.
Most of us know what it is like to be overwhelmed in heart, body and soul by grief, by sadness, by despair; emptied of hope, feeling like a ship tossed and turned in a storm, a storm not of our making but making a mess of us anyway. After 7 decades of living Black, first in Jim Crow, segregated America to living Black in Africa – I still have always had hope for justice, for true freedom and liberation, yet over and over disappointments and heart-breaks seem to roll over me like billows in a storm, and I feel like a broken shell hurled to and fro by the surf.
I am, like most of us today, angry, enraged, and beside myself with fury over the injustice, unfairness and hatefulness we see in our face and yet i seem powerless and unable to stop.
Where do we turn, what do we do, what CAN we do about what appears to be the unrelenting wholesale slaughter of our people – over and over on both sides of the Atlantic – either actually dead or being killed while still alive – by torturing our reputations, threatening our lives, abrogating our histories, slandering our good names, decimating our families, and choking off our futures so we CAN’T BREATHE.
So here I was this morning, this Pentecost morning, shouting, screaming, crying from the depths of my soul in confines of my bedroom, begging THE GOD to answer me; pleading for Him to provide an answer to this age old question of WHY????. While I know these are the days of tribulation that Yeshuah told us were coming, but we still want to know how long, how many must die, what’s up with this? Alas! such is the state in which the troubled mind is often cast, such is the need for being shown where to find divine shelter and rest, to find an eternal answer filled with grace, mercy and peace.
So as I often do, I turned to King David, who seemed to have every single emotional situation that one can imagine, and I was found to be with him as he wrote these words while hiding in the wilderness, after he had narrowly escaped one of King Saul’s efforts to kill him “from the ends of the earth, I will cry to you for help, for my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Ps. 61:1-2).
Advice from David to go to the ROCK that is higher than I, so that is where I found myself, at the ROCK that is higher than I, under the shadow of the Almighty, laying my head on his shoulder to find comfort, rest, solace and answers to my seemingly unanswerable questions.
Blessed be THE GOD of my soul that at such seasons we are not without an all-sufficient, Almighty Saviour. I was comforted and assured that Our God is the safest harbour for my weather-beaten soul, the hospice for my forlorn heart; his love and care higher than my sad and sorrowful thoughts.
As I fixed my confidence upon the exceeding high and glorious Rock of Ages, feeling the comfort of the Holy Spirit in my heart and mind, I began to rest a bit in the truth that while all things are not good, somehow good can come out of all things in the magnificent hands of the God of Creation.
So just a bit later in the morning I heard Killer Mike admonish Atlanta, Georgia and the whole of the US to consider their actions and “don’t burn down you own house;”
I then read a note from President Adesina filled with wisdom, hope and promise.
Then I could hear the always present kind and generous laughter of Minister Zuma saying “I’m alright”
And while both George and Ahmaud are gone, their spirits are yet alive in our hearts and minds, and we still have a chance to bring justice for them if we faint not.
So Killer Mike advised us what to do — it is time to plot, plan, strategise, organise and mobilize in an effective way, not with the violence and hate the evil ones give us but by the love and decency that seems to be found in the hearts of Black folk all over the world no matter what –I know sometimes it seems like a deficiency but it is actually our most powerful weapons – love and faith – wielded not from weakness but from strength as Dr. Adesina told me with “the strength of a lion”
How can I feel this way even in my despair, bewilderment and confusion? It is because God is that Rock that changes not, and a very high tower and a sure refuge in the time of trouble.
Because even though the tempests and waves may overwhelm us, actually they roll far beneath His feet; He is not disturbed by them, but rules them at His will (Psalm 33:7) and has given us the power over them as well.
And so I finally came to know and believe like David that If I get under the shelter of this unfailing Rock, I will defy the hurricane of despair, bewilderment and uncertainty, anger and hopelessness and find peacefulness for my soul and calm for my spirit. I pray during this harrowing time you go to the Rock and find rest, peace and comfort.
You know how much I love music and movies and so I remembered this song from Preachers Wife sung by my precious Whitney and so I listened and was blessed. I hope it will bless you as you go to the ROCK of our salvation and find comfort and peace.
Sending love and light and peace to you this Pentecost Sunday.
- Mama T
- Voice of Wisdom