I was one of many teenagers in the African diaspora who discovered that the path to maturity needed a layer of truth to counteract the talking points of the European powers that were responsible for the rape of Africa. We were not going to walk that road we were on without adjusting our gait, without becoming intimate with our origin. We learned that black was not bad nor was western civilization a lifestyle to be imitated or idolized. The two finds morphed into a song that has repeatedly saved me from brainwashing and ensured that I retain the hope of a personal growth in grace.
They say they are done, free and happy but…
The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.Exodus 15:2
Yahweh is my
- my strength
- my song
- my salvation
- my God
- my father’s God
And I will exalt him
No sleep until we are sure
It is a genuine David thing
Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, Until I find out a place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.Psalms 132:3-5
Saving grace is merely a new package of burdens; burdens our ancestors have not handled well. Public holiness is a seesaw of sin and pardon, but privately we think that we have arrived and God is pleased with us. Our joy and exultation are shortlived or intermittent- angels put us to shame – so how can we say we have put our feet and hands where our words have pointed?
Personal and internal
Singing a Zion song is a political venture. It is protest with feet. It is about a war we cannot wage and a victory we did not earn. Our exile will bring feelings and any thoughts about our troubles, rest or residence truly need – like the song of the Hebrews as they escaped from the Red Sea – to have someone in reliable character, someone who is strength, song, salvation, personal God, and ancestral God. It is not only very Jewish, it is the light of the larger part of Abraham’s family.