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?
There is this song that I keep hearing in my head. It’s an old hymn sung in many black traditional churches in the South during the Jim Crow era. When I hear this song, I see the old but strong men sitting in the deacon corner and the women dressed in their white, as they prepare the table for the Lord’s Supper. I see courage in their eyes and an unbreakable spirit. I have been carrying this song in my spirit almost every day. I’m so glad that I am hearing it because it reminds me to stay in the fight for justice and freedom. This song reminds me to never give up and to never back down. You may not be a religious or spiritual person or even believe in a power that is greater than you. But I hope you have someone, a friend, your spouse, your pet, someone who loves you unconditionally that will walk with you through these troubling times. This is what I hear:
“I want Jesus to walk with me. I want Jesus to walk with me. All along my pilgrim journey, Lord I want Jesus to walk with me. In my trials, Lord, walk with me. In my trials, Lord, walk with me. When my heart is almost breaking, Lord I want Jesus to walk with me. When I’m in trouble, Lord, walk with me. When I’m in trouble, Lord, walk with me. When my head is bowed in sorrow, Lord I want Jesus to walk with me. (J. Jefferson Cleveland, 1937- Verolga Nix, 1933)
There is no way you can be alive today in this nation in which we live and not be overwhelmed, bruised, hurt, tired, tearful, frustrated, angry, fearful and so much more painful feelings and thoughts caused by the evil ones. We become stagnant. Everything around us stop and all we can do is stand in one spot looking hopeless.
Move Forward. One step at a time.
Move Forward. The issues won’t magically disappear.
Move Forward. The children must stop crying.
Move Forward. Police brutality must end.
Move Forward. White Supremacy must be destroyed.
Move Forward. Nationalism cannot be the order of the day.
Move Forward. Hunger must be wiped out.
Move Forward. Everyone deserves a home.
Move Forward. Everyone deserves an opportunity.
Move Forward. Everyone deserves a good education.
Move Forward. Everyone deserves freedom.
Move Forward. Everyone deserves love.
Move Forward. Everyone deserves to see God.
Move forward and let your light shine so bright that it will cast out darkness so that others will see they too have a path to move forward.