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I shall pour clean water over you and you will be cleansed…of all your defilement. I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove your heart of stone from your bodies and give you heart of flesh instead… so proclaimed the prophet Ezekiel in the Oracle against the Nations (36:25-26).

The year was after 587 BCE, the fall of Jerusalem, when he joined the captives in Babylon, in sore need of spiritual support.  

We, too, need hearts of flesh, given the destruction caused by Hurricane Ida that further traumatized the global wound.

We’ve only to ask …

At 7:45 A. M, I awoke with this curious dream:

It is night. I’d spent the day in a great hall with a large mixed group of people who completed several important projects. Before leaving for our homes, a priest informs us that the archbishop wished to give us an ice cream bar. 

The night always symbolizes the end times that usher in darkness, the unknown. More than ever with the imperceptible increase in my symptoms, I move closer to the end time of this existence. With full consciousness, I still strive to adhere to my daily routine of self-care that include blogging and reading David McCullough’s John Adams (2004), and receiving the support of my helpers.

The great hall suggests my psyche’s unclutteredness, spaciousness, a place for working and playing. The large mixed group of people speaks of my harmonious energies dedicated to the completion of several important projects, symbolic of my ongoing purification, in preparation for my transition.

The priest, disguised as a messenger for the archbishop/God in disguise, announces our reward: ice cream bars: rich vanilla, coated with chocolate and pecans. They look yummy. At first, I avoid their milky softness and sugar, triggers for joint inflammations in my body. Then, I learn this is a different kind of treat:

As the psalmist proclaims, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

It’s true. My waiting continues …

You Tube’s three stanzas of the anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” moved me deeply, its one hundred-year-lyrics still sung in Black Churches, in Black History Month seminars, and other events. The anthem’s vision speaks to those willing to listen: a plea for Liberty to the God of silent tears.

The dismal failure of the Civil War Post-Reconstruction in late nineteenth-century America compelled James Weldon Johnson, lawyer, school administrator, prolific writer, and poet in Jacksonville, Florida, to compose these lyrics. Tears flooded him after listening to his brother’s rendering them in the word-painting technique: the melding of images upon the soulful melody in A flat major, often used in spirituals.

“ Lift Every Voice and Sing” was first presented to honor the1900 visit of educator Booker T. Washington to the Black school, Stanton, where Johnson was principal. Those five hundred singers, many becoming teachers, carried the anthem with them, and taught other classrooms, which, in turn, spread this vision of hope.

In 1919, the NAACP proclaimed, “ Lift Every Voice and Sing” the Black National Anthem of America; it also spirited the1960s Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King.

YouTube carries several versions of this stirring anthem.

Available on Amazon

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