One of my goals this year is to dive into black poetry and literature at a whole ‘nother level. Doing so has helped me in healing, as well as being able to aide me in one of my current book projects: writing a 300 page poetry book.
As with any particular group of people, you can’t assume that what works for one, works for all. As a whole, there is a stigma behind black people doing therapy. This poem deals with that stigma, and hopefully will get some of us to open up at a deeper level. Due to blacks having to suppress their emotions way back from slavery times, it is both difficult, and deemed as unsafe for them to show their emotions in front of others.
The reality of the situation is that when blacks show emotions, particularly that of anger, we are labeled as the angry black man or woman, having a higher chance of the police being called. What is natural for others is a luxury when it comes to black people, and demonstrating emotions goes along with that.
I hope that this poem gives you some food for thought. I would love to start a discussion down below on your experience growing with emotions, and how it was handled. Be blessed!
This week’s episodes are focusing on Black History month and Black Literature. In this episode, I am doing a reading from “The Journey”. You are able to get a picture of what it was to live in the South in the 1960’s, along with the dynamics of being black. I hope that you enjoy this reading, and that something that is read will resonate with your soul as you listen to Black History Part 1.
At Valley of Grace, we believe in thriving. In order to thrive, we have to begin grounding ourselves in our identity. The first step in making this happen, is dealing with the effects of our childhood wounds. Click here to get started in Online Therapy today.****This is an amazon affiliate link where a commission is paid to offsite the cost of providing this information to you.
The year 2020 has had a lot of ups and downs. And to be honest, there seems to have been more downs than ups. In this podcast episode, I will go over some of the things that we have dealt with collectively, as well as individually. I will also dissect what we have as an anchor for the new year. In case you missed the last episode, you can click here to catch up.
But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.
2 And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.
3 Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.
4 Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?
5 So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.
And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.
7 But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.
8 And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.
9 And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.
10 Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:
11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?
We haven’t fully digested it yet, but we love playing God. We have all shaken our fingers at someone in person, or in our heads. We have been self-nominated as “The Judge”. God Himself. When people like/dislike things differently than us, we wear the black robe and pound the gavel. “I don’t know why he/she spent $500 on wine and cheese. They could have bought their children some clothes. And by the way, did you see what their kids had on for school today?”
Danger of Passing Judgment
We judge other people whose sins are different from ours, forgetting that in God’s eyes sin is sin. We stay stuck on the obvious sins of murder, sex, and blasphemy, and we push aside our idolatry of being in debt over poor spending choices, passive parenting, emotionally angry outbursts, codependency, gossip, lying, and racism.
Unfortunately, we have gotten so good at being judge that we take notes, so that we can pour out all of our detective findings to our friends. It is because our lives are perfect. Right? Our kids are perfect. We are perfect. We have never made bad decisions that we will never regret for the rest of our lives. We have never said or thought something racist. As Christians, we are told to love God with our hearts, soul, mine, and strength, and our neighbors as ourselves. Satan has blinded us into being legalistic and using two sins to distinguish us from good Christians and bad Christians. When do we hold up the mirror to ourselves, and truly ask God to reveal our broken parts in these areas.
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards,
nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.- 1 Corinthians 6: 1-12
The key lies in verse 11 that helps : “And such were some of you”, and the words “but ye” are…
It shows how our eyes have been blinded to our own sins. It leads to legalism and self-righteousness.
Until we have judged someone harshly, and that measurement is given back to us.
Remember the story of David and Bathsheba? Remember what David said to Nathan in response to the Rich Man’s behavior for stealing the “ewe lamb” from the poor man. He wanted this man to pay several times over. And guess what? That is exactly what happened to David. The sad background music that played for David was, “You are that man!”
So, what is the antidote for judging?
“Humility and empathy are the antidotes to judging other people and their situations.”
Let’s remember this when we are tempted to put on our black robes and wave our fingers at others. God is waving his finger at us playing the background music entitled, “YOU ARE THAT MAN!”
“For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:2, NIV
On tomorrow, I will be celebrating the heavenly birthday of my grandmother, Beatrice, affectionately known to her family as Mudear. There isn’t one day that goes by that I don’t think of her “figures of speech, quotes, words of wisdom, or just a matter of fact response to any kind of drama that is going on. I got my first lesson on community from living in her tiny apartment in the projects. Her place was filled with smells of fried chicken, grease popping and cabinets that displayed it, hair pressing, and the love that she had for her family.
I wrote the following poem ” My Blackness”, this past week, after dropping my car off for an oil change, and then waiting for my son to pick me up. I read the poem to my son, and he was surprised that I was able to write it so fast. His response, “Hmmm, I’m surprised that you didn’t need to have the perfect writing conditions present”. My response: “Yes, I know. Totally a God thing.” Me standing there on the sidewalk typing a poem into the Notes app on my phone? I then explained to him that I had read a blog post by a black blogger on the Black Lives Matter topic, particulary Juneteenth, and was immediately inspired to write poetry that helped to express my feelings about everything. Feelings about why we judge, what we judge, and what we think when we just don’t understand.
Well, here goes. Mudear, this is dedicated to you: