Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lenten Series #4: The Great Cloud of Witnesses

It is Saturday, and I spent the afternoon watching a film at the city’s library with the Concerned Black Students org. they sponsored along with some of the black faculty, screening Julie Dash's Daughters of the Dust. What an intricate yet powerful independent black film. I suggest you watch it once with a group of people, dialogue about the different characters and symbolism, and then watch it again. So much to see that you will indeed miss some things the first time around. It was wonderful. I won’t go into much details about the film because I think it is a must see especially for those interested in understanding the African culture and the African American experience. 

I will say that there were many themes scattered throughout the film, but the one that resonates with me is the struggle between the old and the new, tradition vs. contemporary. A continual message from the elders was that the new generations must not forget where they had come from. This is what I want to spend my blogging talking about. 

Many people would say I have an old soul. Well, that’s because I grew up always being around my elders. Whether it was in my church, my grandmother’s church or even teachers in school, I seemed to always have been surrounded by adults. I credit that to my mom for she seemed to always make sure that I had strong role models around me. Therefore, I am where I am because of my ancestors, because of those who paved the way. Sometimes it may sound like a cliché, but I know it to be true that I STAND ON THE SHOULDERS OF GAINTS!  

And so as I continue to this Lenten journey I want to take this time to give thanks, to pay homage, to remember… 
  • those who took the time to pray for me. 
  • those who allowed me to sit under them and breathe in their wisdom.
  • those who took me to church and other places when my mom needed her space.
  • the teachers who gave me extra work after I finished min so that I would not disturb the class. 
  • those who put a few dollars in my pocket (from the coins to the bills to the checks).
  • those who let me express my culinary skills in the church culinary ministry.  
  • the talks and encouraging words by men who became role-models and big brothers.
  • Even as I sit at my computer in the office connected to my apartment, I can’t help but think about the trailblazers who made it possible for me to have this job in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa. I don’t know their names, nor their faces, but I give thanks to the Almighty for the path they have laid forth. Because I know it was not just by my merits that I have made it thus far.  I am grateful for the great cloud of witness that keeps me focus on the goal. 
  • Finally, I give thanks for my grandmother, Vashti Hall Hunt Forman, representing in my life the great cloud of witnesses who laid a strong foundation for my Christian journey. I only named her, because I knew that if i begun listing, i would not be able to stop,  (Leila Lee, Andrew Carter, Leslie Davis, Nathan Carter, etc.) 
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

Peace, Love, and Prosperity, 


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