I can not speak for you. I can only speak for myself this morning. But I am certain that as I scribe what I ponder, you and I may find some common ground.
I am writing this on the Eve of Valentine’s Day 2016. Once every 7 years V-Day falls on a Sunday. There’s no doubt that my pastor will offer a lesson tomorrow about how God’s love for us was so great that he offed his only begotten son (John 3:16). This infrequent event occurs even less frequently than Leap Year, which also occurs this month.
But I am not penning this about love, life, or the Lord. As I sit at my kitchen table and gaze out the window, I see the thin layer of snow across the field, the bare branches swaying in the wind, and silence of the morning sunrise. My thoughts are running rampant. I am inspired by the slightest movement. Yet I am motivated to do nothing. I merely reflect.
Last night, I made a spontaneous decision to have coffee with a friend. The drive was long, and the night was cold and dark. The snow began to fall, and I had to wonder why. Why are things happening the way that they are? Why are things not running in a more practical manner? Why is common sense not prevailing? And does good ever truly win? I’d like to think that I know the answer to some of theses inquiries. But I don’t.
I arrived in time to catch my friend fulfill a home furnishing transaction at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I made witty jokes as she pilled things that she didn’t need into the cart. With each discounted item she’d declare “I don’t really need this, but it’s a great value!” She was buying it just in case. I momentarily halted my sarcasm. “Just in case.”
I am no longer planning. I am no longer waiting. I am surrendering…all. For me, there is no “just in case.”
My ears were wide open, not because of an epiphany of how I should change. No! I am realizing that I should stay the same. Forty plus years of experience (although infancy really shouldn’t count) has brought me to this very moment.
And I survived.
I’ve survived playing on the railroad tracks as a kid, not eating my Wheaties, and talking back to elders. I conquered waiting to the last minute to complete dead-lined tasks and NOT studying for tests. Low SAT scores, and beating the odds! I proved wrong the stereotypes and graduated despite the statistics. I married outside my race–to a woman who didn’t even question my race until she met my family. I’ve raised children through a divorce, and we survived the aftermath. And now my “I‘s” start to become “we‘s”.
We have…overcome. We haven’t always enjoyed the journey, and at times we’ve given up the fight. But many dreams have been fulfilled. The fact that we are raising up a nation of entitlement is still debatable–because it’s a fluid term subject to interpretation. The rich believe that they are entitled to be continue gaining wealth. The poor’s thrive to survive is dependent solely on scrounging for the resources to resume the fight. And the middle class (working class poor) haven’t quite decided which line to take.
*Sidebar: There aren’t nearly as many rich republicans as there are poor democrats, but the rich can buy political policy, whereas the poor struggle to meet the residency requirements to vote.
And so as my mind wakens and I flip up the laptop, brew my tea, and the world wide web begins to glow in front of me, I see a post in my news feed. I read, and begin to climb on my soap box.
Open Letters to political endorsers are nothing new. However, we now have the ability to approach our leaders virtually as well as directly. Their handlers will prevent contact, but we have the ability to shame them when they speak out of line. Interesting times. Freedom of speech amplified and exponentially more effective. To the targets of such reproach, we are considered bullies. But we don’t see it that way. We are finding new ways to get our points across, to be heard, and to demand accountability.
If only Malcolm X or Dr. Martin Luther King had the power of social media. It was their public persona that got them killed. It was the establishment that had them martyred. But martyrdom came at a price. We look back at their struggles and watch their accomplishments rise up from the ashes. If for one moment you don’t think that the Civil Rights Movement has re-established itself, have a look at the past five years of senseless killings of blacks and the riots that have followed. The spotlights is on injustice.The governing bodies and it’s officials only attend the funerals to save face and to make statements of HOPE and FAITH, but do nothing to change the direction of our justice system.
We have power beyond our ability to harness it. We have the ability to create change. We have SO much ability now that even learning to wield its awesomeness is clumsy and ruthless. We haven’t even conceived how we will proceed.
And as for me, I haven’t even begun to decide which path I will travel. The path less traveled is a lonely one, but the path of least resistance has not been infiltrated. On either side change will occur and it will be a magnificent spectacle. The next twelve months are going to be game changers.
As my focus shifts from the current events back to the wintery stillness outside my window, my thoughts begin to slow. I don’t know where I will be tomorrow. I don’t know for certain my role in all of this. I am not watching the signs as much as I am waiting on a feeling. Something doesn’t feel right. I am listening. I am watching. I am waiting.
My worth is yet to be determined…