Sunday, January 17, 2010

These are the Times

Thomas Paine has often been quoted, “These are the times that try men's souls." These are the times. We could look globally and know with all that is going on . . . these are the times. I don't want to look there, right now. Look right here. Right where you stand.

Friday night I attended a service at a Jewish synagogue that annually celebrates the lives of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Heschel. At the end of the service we all join handed hands as we sang . . . yes, "We shall overcome." As I sang, I thought about my personal challenges and what I had overcome and what I shall overcome. I had not thought about it that way previously. Come one, how many times had I sung that song in the vein of moving forward in our collective civil rights? But this time was different. And so I prayed that God renewed both the Caucasian woman on my right and the Jewish man on my left that we shall overcome.

When the service was over the woman complimented me on my voice. But the man greeted me "Shabat Shalom," and in turn, I blessed him. He said that he had struggled with coming to church. He was struggling with God, and was not sure what was happening; but he was glad he came. I laughed and told him that I understood those moments and that 'desert place' experience. He hugged me and thanked me.

So what was it about? Oh you had to be there. You see, we get so engulfed in our own problems, issues, situations that we retreat into self and thus become isolated. But we are a people, a community of believers and as a community we can connect as one. While we must face our situations we don’t face them alone. We really are connected. It’s that African spirit of M’butu – “I am because we are.” The brother shared a personal trial, and I responded, and his trial is no longer his alone. We shall overcome.

When we began to reach out by just being available to others, we will find that same reach back to us. We shall overcome. These are trying times for so very many in equally as many ways but we can overcome when we stand firm as a community of believers. Together, we must reach out in prayer support and in any way that God directs. Sometimes it only needs to be a smile.

It goes without saying that our sisters and brothers in Haiti need us. Please make an effort to stand firm with them. There are many ways to help financially, be careful that the way is true. These are the times, but the Word says that we are more than conquerors.  type to you later

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