Three years ago at church, I heard the single best sermon I have heard in my life.
It would take a very long time for me to translate my notes into something that would make sense in a blog post. But I will give you some highlights as they pertain to my life over the last month.
Rev. Kevin Wade preached a sermon meant to rally Christians into our places of authority. He gave us several scriptures to wrestle with, especially Paul’s letter to the church at Colossia, first chapter, verses 9-11. I’m not going to post them here, because then I would feel obligated to explain them. If you want to talk about the verses, let’s do that together at some point.
Rev. Wade’s basic thesis was that Christians were given authority when we were bought into the family of God, paid for with Christ’s blood and suffering. We were given power over sickness, death, and the way of the world when Christ rose from the dead. He encouraged and challenged us to stop letting life just happen to us and those we love. The same power that Christ used to stop storms and heal sick bodies is the power we have to protect ourselves and our family members from violence and disease.
We just don’t tap into our power.
We don’t pray enough.
We aren’t focused enough.
We talk about our own problems and gossip about other people’s and release our power into the hands of the forces that oppose us (2 Corinthians 13:1).
And there's not enough love in our hearts.
Two years ago, my family fought a practice battle for our public and private witness. And if I’m honest, the casualties are still making me wonder if we won or lost.
A year and a half ago, I watched my Facebook newsfeed, dumbstruck and angry at all of the violence that tries to victimize the Black community.
Last spring, I read The Circle Maker and started praying bigger prayers than I had prayed in years.
As surely as the sun continued to rise, the attack came and I looked around at a world that I wasn’t sure I was willing to continue fighting for. But Muse. But Kingston. But Jabee and Black Future. But music. But art. But God.
This summer, I listened to kids from all over the world speak beautiful poems crying out in fear and anger and hope about the problems they are facing every day. Real problems. Real sickness, real death, real love, real bullying, real neglect and abuse, real stifling from an education system that can’t catch them all.
And then, the week before the first day of school, the spirit of death cast his shadow over my own house. I didn’t know much, except I was going to keep my mouth shut. I wasn’t going to give my power to a word that I wanted eradicated not fortified. Not only was the enemy attacking where all of our eyes could see, but he was also after my students, trying to steal my focus away from planning their lessons.
One week of silence and work.
One surgery. Several hours spent, several phone calls and kisses. Safe in the middle of the storm.
Then the attacks began to accumulate. And instead of cowering, for the first time since PaPa and AMK, I stood up and said, “No. Not on my watch.” The last two weeks, I have known prayer and fatigue in a way I had forgotten was possible. The battle hasn’t raged this close to home in four years. I haven’t walked into battle from a stance of victory in about nine years.
Rev. Wade has a power and preaches about a power I’ve been praying for in the back of my mind since I first heard him preach it. He said, “we become the solution looking for the problem.”
Just like I posted on my birthday, my grandma and my pastor have set the prayer anointing firmly on my shoulders. When I look back to junior high and high school, I was always leading prayer circles and writing prayers for people. It’s my superpower.
We are all magic, you know.
One of the worst lies we believe is that we are only human. We didn’t start as human. We originated as the breath of God. So we are so much more than only human. We are magic; we are spirit with skin on top.
So, in the middle of all these storms, I will practice using my power. I will be found praying circles around everything the Holy Spirit reveals to me. I don’t have any time to waste.