Expect Greater

Today is the First Sunday in Advent. Advent is a period of four Sundays before Christmas and observed by Christians preparing for the coming of the Christ child. Advent is an expectancy of something greater to come. I love the Advent season because it reminds me that past troubles and woes do not dictate my future. This year has not been the greatest for many of us. I lost my brother, my best friend and a woman who raised me like I was her own child. My car was totaled because someone decided they would run a stop sign and not check to see if I was okay and my job cut hours. As I write this, the song comes to my mine, “I Won’t Complain” by the Rev. Paul Jones. Seriously, I use to hate that song because what is wrong with expressing hurt and pain? Nothing at all. What is wrong though is remaining in the hurt and pain. Don’t remain in the hurt and the pain of this year. Expect greater.

I am grateful that I had a best friend, a loving brother and a woman who showed me compassion. I’m grateful that I was not hurt in my car accident and I’m grateful that I have some income. But I expect greater to come, not because by some miracle rewards will land in my lap. I expect greater because life is still happening, life is still moving, life is here and life is still to come. I expect to keep finding ways to produce in order for the earth to provide a home for me and those I love. I expect to experience joy when I see my grandchildren run and play. I expect to feel the arms of my husband always embracing me. I expect to live my life with purpose. I expect greater because greatness lives in me.

During Advent, I pray that you will expect greater in your life. I pray that you see all the good that you have around you and in you. You have come this far, why give up now? Expect greater love, joy and happiness. Expect greater.

Thank you!

Thank you for dreaming your dream. Thank you for your creative spirit that pours out on laptop screens, blank sheet of papers, notebooks, journals and even that napkin stuffed in your pocket. Thank you for giving us voices and breathing us into an existence we thought not possible. Thank you for lifting us and making us feel safe. It is your words, those beautiful words, those painful words, those funny words, those challenging words, those make you feel like slapping your mama words (but we know better), those frightful words, those unifying words that give us feet to walk and hips to sway. Thank you.

To the writers who struggle to make sounds but sing even when they feel they won’t be heard. To the writers who teach us to keep on keeping on. To the writers who care, but don’t care, and write on anyhow. To the writers who share their stories with us, thank you for your power, grace and resilience.

Write on! We need you!

God Values You

Today I find myself in a place that is comforting and peaceful. I am in the arms of my God who provides me love and acceptance. I experienced a worship service this morning where I got the opportunity to see people who don’t look like me, be compassionate, be joyful, be whole and free, worshiping their God who loves and accepts them. I saw beautiful Queer Black men singing songs of Zion, hearing from God and providing a moving sermon that challenges us to see all of God’s creation.

I cried. Tears came out of nowhere. They were not tears of sorrow, but tears releasing all that I kept tangled up in my spirit in this pandemic and period of injustice; fear, anger, hurt, disappointment, worry. The tears came when these amazing brothers opened their beautiful voices to the heavens and sang one of the perfect hymns of the church, “Great is Thy Faithful”. The tears came as I listened to the last verse:

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside. Great is Thy Faithfulness! Great is Thy Faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed Thy hand hath provided, Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

I saw how God cared so much for those that have been abused and scorned, chastised and cast out. In the midst of all that is wrong in the world, these beautiful souls shared a loving God to a broken sister who thought she was too tough to cry. God’s faithfulness reminds me that I am safe and loved and because of His and Her faithfulness, all are valued and worthy of God’s love.

I searched to find a version of the song so you can hear clearly. I could not find the song sang by those amazing voices I heard in my worship experience, but I will share this one which I fell in love with by Anthems Light Band. (I do not have rights to this song). Listen and know you are loved by God. https://youtu.be/fLWAI6KRlsQ

Be blessed!

What Do You See?

What do you see? I see Beauty as she rises from the ashes of chaos. I see her dancing and hugging all that were covered with the soot of hopelessness and she provides shoes that sparkles when one walks which turns into stars at dust.

What do you see? I see Happy as he wipes the frowns from one’s face and makes one laugh with his jokes being careful not to offend anyone because there is one who is still fragile. One who still does not believe and cries turning tears into rain which turns into the sea.

What do you see? I see Love as they call names, one after the other, pronouncing each syllable perfectly, giving each one life, setting each one free and praying that one day, one will see what they see.

One will see that it is the very essence of their Being that makes this world go round.

What do you see?

Loyalty

When I was running for a position on the board of an organization, that had some troubling issues that would never be addressed. I remember someone asking the question, “why should we vote for you?”. I responded, “because I will be loyal to the President of the board.” The sad story is I won the vote, because I said I would be loyal to a person and an organization. I wouldn’t cause a ruckus, I wouldn’t be a problem. My loyalty would equal my silence.

The definition of loyalty, at least from the google search, is a strong feeling of support or allegiance. Being loyal to something or someone can be good or dangerous. Surely over the past couple of days, since election, we all have shown how we are to what and who we are loyal. So the question becomes is our loyalty righteous? Does our loyalty reflect that we are on the right side of justice or that we are on the side where someone in the margins will be left behind? Does our loyalty reflect that all have a chance to be and live? Does our loyalty reflect hatred? Does our loyalty reflect greed? Does our loyalty reflect love for others?

Who and what are you loyal to and why? Is that working for you?

Believe

Today is cloudy and the fog is very thick. I believe, though, that the sun is shining behind those clouds, fighting to come through and will succeed.

Today is dreary and quiet. I hear no noise of children playing in the street. I believe, though, I will hear them again when the sun defeats the darkness.

Today feels hopeless. Watching those lost in the debris of an uncaring world. I believe, though, the sun will shine so bright, that we will have no choice but to look through the darkness and be forced to see our imperfections, but also see our possibilities.

Today we will discover that we are the light that shines, we are the ones we have been waiting for.

She is Alive!

The church is not dead. She is alive.

It took a pandemic for us to see this misogynist who spews his nonsense of racism, sexism and homophobia. I say “him” because let’s be clear, it is those patriarchal stuff-shirts in the church that brought harm to her. But she is persistent, she is a fierce to be reckon with, she cannot be broken. She never came to harm anyone. Her strength is to always welcome all God’s children without any judgement. Her arms are meant to hold and protect us from the wolves that seek to colonize and assimilate us into a mind of greed and perceived power that has no backbone.

She speaks. We are listening and returning to her. Not in glamorous buildings with elaborate window stains to a face of a Jesus who they chose for us to see. But she has shown us her sons and daughters through the acts of protestors who stand against police brutality. She has shown us her sons and daughters through those who feed the homeless and demand affordable housing. She has shown us her sons and daughters through those who fight against voter suppression. She has shown us Jesus. Her children are many. Her children are powerful. Her children is love.

The church is not dead. She is very much alive with open arms and a great big smile, welcoming us home! And the gates of hell shall not prevail against her. Yeah, I know, the Peters are fuming!

Hallelujah!!

Hold on…

“It” is taking too long. This was suppose to be your year. You planned to show up for your best self, to shine so bright that people would notice your existence. Your vision board even shows that this was it. You unfriended folks from your Facebook account and and blocked those you did not agree with from Twitter. You placed yourself around positivity and refuse to allow any kind of distraction to enter your space. The space you created was to be a space of creativity, of joy, where nothing, absolutely nothing can go wrong. How could it go so wrong? This was suppose to be your year.

Why would life throw you a curve ball now, when you have done so much to walk and move in your purpose, your destiny, your dream. “It is taking too damn long!”, you scream to the top of your voice. But to no avail, the clock doesn’t move, the days look the same, the seasons just past in its’ natural beauty, which you don’t notice. The image of the world does not match the image in your mind. Your mind sees possibilities. Your mind sees togetherness. Your mind sees love.

I don’t know what your “It” is that you have been dreaming of, waiting for, dying for. But rest assure, your “It” is still close by. Even, closer that you know. True, everyday appears that we wake to disappointments, too many to name. And yet, our mind refuses to give up, our dreams refuse to die. “It” pushes us to live. “It” pushes us to see what can truly be. “It” won’t let us quit.

God created in a space a world where God imagined wonderful possibilities. All of “it” God claimed to be good, then very good. Can you imagine even in the midst of chaos, God would stop creating? Of course not! God is still creating in you. You wonder why you still care, why you can’t stop dreaming and just throw in the towel. You can’t stop caring, you can’t stop dreaming, hoping, laughing, loving, being. God didn’t create you to stop. You, God’s greatest creation with eyes so bright, can still see a future how God imagined life to be.

Hold on. God believes in you. “It” won’t be long.

1959

Photo by Lucxama Sylvain on Pexels.com

I was born in 1959. I am the child my parents marched and fought for during the Civil Rights movement. I am now 61. And my children are still fighting for the right to fight voter suppression, police brutality, economic injustice, for my grandchildren and still, for me. Help me to understand why do we still have to prove that we matter to a country who will use us for her entertainment and investments but get angry because generation after generation, we refuse to be quiet, we refuse to give in, we refuse to sit down, demanding what was stole from us, demanding that because of us, this country benefits from the hands of our ancestors. Because of us, our blood and tears in the soil of the land produce fruit that provided homes and places for your children to run and play.

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (Grandma’s KJV version).

I was born in 1959 and I ain’t tired yet.