Darkened Lives Matter

I experienced it first through the grace of a young Caribbean prostitute that I know only as “Princess.” She opened her heart to me during a dance celebration, and I saw spread before me the cane fields, the hearts of the slaves calling out for justice. The only offering I had for them was a caress of inadequate consolation.

“You are not forgotten.”

What else would have been expected, two thousand years into the arduous working out through the flesh of our dependency on sin? What would it be like, to return to that? The familiar molten tears of shame and grief – “they suffer in silence in honor of MY promises!” To see the long years of suffering under the lash set against those few hours of torture. “Who am I?” The tearing at the heart as they shed their burdens, passing through that narrow gate into the kingdom of peace. The great cry, as I lay on the floor consumed by the desolation of the cross, screaming “Whyyyyyyyy!?!? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY!?!?!”

These thoughts tormented me this morning as I listened to Amy Grant sing “I’m With You.” Recalling the woman that surrenders her child for a few coins in Master’s pocket, weeding the fields where the shoots sprout:

Love is a hunger, a famine in your soul
I thought I planted beauty but it would never grow
Now I’m on my hands and knees
Trying to gather up my dreams
Trying to hold on to anything

Of the genteel middle class, confronting the barbarity of the public lynching:

You do your best to build a higher wall
To keep love safe from any wrecking ball
When the dust has cleared we will
See the house that love rebuilds
Guarding beauty that lives here still

That beauty, in contradiction of the claims of those that ridicule faith, being found in the great convocation in the heart of Christ, the conviction of the faithful overwhelming the scientific fact that for the vast majority their thoughts were not found worthy of recording:

Who can say I’m left with nothing
When I have all of you, all of you
In the way you always love me
I remember

Yes, you were forlorn in a world dominated by those that pillage the fruits of love. But you tendered your devotion to Christ’s promise:

You and me, me and you
Where you go, I’ll go too
I’m with you
I’m with you
Until your heart finds a home
I won’t let you feel alone
I’m with you
I’m with you

Oh, take courage in the remembrance of that future! As Martin Luther King Jr. testified:

And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!