As a very little girl I knew my people were beautiful, special…mistreated & hated. I knew I actively wanted to be a part of our restoration, no matter what form that took on. (And dare I say, I knew at 16 yrs old it was my calling).
What my youth could never tell me was just how much I myself needed to survive to even begin to have a meaningful impact. Early in my career, I was able to make a small but noticeable difference in the lives of several Black-American college students… I spent 12 years pouring into those lives and it’s still my greatest honor & life-contribution to date….though I am ALWAYS humbly grateful for those who my writing has touched.
And now, after wading through a divorce & a Time of Trauma NOTHING motivates me more to get my sh*t together than my people and what we currently face. Nothing motivates me more than the thought of joining God in what He’s all ready doing to continue to bring hope and justice to my people.
I’m learning to view my life as a social justice advocate, a reconciler, a leader, a writer, a challenger as a life-long marathoner. Not a sprint.
I ran a marathon once. I felt GREAT until mile 13. I was not tired AT ALL. But at mile 13 those who were running a half marathon broke off to finish their race. And I watched them cross their finish line with the cold stab of jealousy that I had to do everything I just did all over again. Even though my body felt good my emotional state tanked.For me, staying in this journey even though I’m TIRED & weak and the ghost of Sandra Bland has me weary and discouraged —-it’s time to buckle down for the long haul. Stabilize. Go at a comfortable pace. Stop for water. Eat. Sleep well. A life-long advocate of my people means I keep doing whatever I can, whenever I can …until I’m dead. That is my personal legacy. Not success. Not my failures (which are many), not anything else but service. My 12 years in ministry taught me that…the greatest most effective work done in being a catalyst to someone’s life change is done IN SERVICE. And with a tremendous amount of love.
Advocacy is what I love. My people are who I love. My faith is why I love. Writing/speaking (for now) is how I love. I’m teaching myself the way of peaceful protest.
Sometimes we are all in a rush to do something not understanding the greatest clarity & energy-source comes from a sharpened vision. And that doesn’t (often) happen overnight. I’m being pruned and tore away at like any leader should be. I’m praying hard that on the other side of my survival is productive work. But I too, tire of the process, and of course, I’m angry that moral failures have cost me significant influence, energy & time.
But I’m in a rebirth of sorts, and the state of my people is producing a significant motivation to survive and thrive for the sake of others.
That’s all there is for a ragamuffin like me. Hope, healing, grace & advocacy.