Did you have a happy and prosperous Independence Day?
Seems like it's been a while since my last message. Honestly, I felt hurt along with the rest of the nation after the 4th. When the news broke of the tragic losses to our national community, I just happened to be in National Harbor, MD, wedged between Washington, DC and Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia (where a cemetery for freed slaves still stands). How ironic to be in such a place waking up each morning to more haunting news that broke our hearts and frustrated our minds. We had consecutive losses, we HAVE consecutive losses. This took me to a different space, however. It hit me harder than usual. Check out my posts on Instagram:
Skittles, hoodies, failure to signal, wallet, cigarettes, cigarillos, loud music, sleeping, shopping, toys, cell phone, CD's--none warrant killing/murder/death. These days, you better be careful which candy you eat, where you shop, and God forbid you forget to put on your car signal before turning! Your life depends on it. At this rate, heart disease, cancer, sickle cell and diabetes won't be the leading causes of death in the black community. #blacklivesmatter
I love you, my brother. I honor you. I don't denigrate you. I don't put you down. You are royal. You are strong. You are great. More importantly, God created you to be so and says this and more about you. I follow the King of kings in my estimation of you. And He regards you well. He loves you. #blacklivesmatter
Artist + grantee @isabelcureux holds up my art contribution to her project as I love on her awesome dog Tesla. Making interactive and responsive art in her studio space at Torpedo Factory Art Center. She's asking people to draw what they imagine could live at the bottom of the ocean/sea. In light of recent events, my imagination led me to paint a heart chamber, thriving and beating under the water. God knows, many of us are not surviving/thriving on land. #blacklivesmatter
If you don't know my story of redemption, ask me, and I'll tell you. I will say this... I've survived abuse. I've survived pain. And I've come out of it loving more, hoping more and doing more than I could ever imagine, because God made it possible for my wounds to be healed and to become places of healing for others.
I've come to the conclusion that any movements absent of God's love, prayer and our love will not prosper nor have longevity and lasting impact. Martin Luther King, Jr. modeled this for us. His movement was borne of Christ's love and His grace--the sacrifice God made to show us how much He cared, by sending Jesus to cover our mistakes, and not just cover them, but die for them. It's the resurrection of Christ from the dead, the power that made that possible, the power He possesses, that makes renewal, change, true transformation and healing possible and sustainable. That's why we still feel the work of MLK, see its fruit, and profit from it.
True freedom is not that which can be given to us by government nor taken away by the same. It is the gift of God. It is the extension of His grace.
Lord, help our boys in this nation know that they can be free, but that the freedom afforded to them comes from You--freedom of the spirit and the mind which unshackles every chain and breaks every soul tie.
It is for freedom He sets us free.
Change begins at the point of self-evaluation...in our own individual heart. Pride must be uprooted. True motives and intentions discovered.
Last Sunday, I had the honor of singing and performing alongside great friends. In response to requests, I distributed limited copies of my cover of "The River" by Jordan Feliz. Click here to check out a live video performance of this song and be washed and refreshed by the river of life for the coming work we are called to do in this movement. #youmatter