Lupus?! A wha dat?!

Just another emcee who gets free. Vessel of philanthropic vision fueled by theophilic purpose.

Tag: hope

With gratitude

My sons and I, November 2020.

Three years ago I was in Brooklyn Hospital Center enduring what would become a three month long stay. I would spend Thanksgiving in so much pain that the last thing on my mind was a plate.

Everyday I would rise at 6, read scripture, and worship God while singing along with Richard Smallwood’s “Total Praise.” I would hold on until 9am or so when I knew doctors made their rounds, clamoring for updates on my condition. Could I go home soon? Would I make it home in time for my youngest son’s first birthday? I wouldn’t.

So standing in front of this hospital means another opportunity for me to show gratitude. You don’t have to make it. Tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. If we’ve learned anything from 2020, impermanence stands at the top of the list. Life is truly a vapor.

God nah sleep

Zechariah 10 has been my comfort. A counter to the narrative that faith is anemic in times like these. Some take comfort in criticizing rage and pretend that God can be reduced to a justice less peace. This desire to preserve normalcy, this desire to have one behave one’s self while there are knees on our necks is borne in fear. Fear that your myopic readings of Romans 13 won’t be enough. Fear that you didn’t spend enough time with the prophets. All that book learning and you never took the time to see how much God cares about justice? You look for God in your things. You look for God everywhere but the margins. Where God always is. You speak of reconciliation. You have soothed yourself to sleep with the dream of bringing together. You refuse to acknowledge that reconciliation is the repair of the master-slave dialectic. You want to be woke now. You’ve commodified woke. Prolly will commodify non-commodifying soon enough. But all of it means nothing unless you confess. All of it means nothing unless you admit you are complicit. You cannot be the hero in this story, we already have One. Our hero hears our blood crying from the ground. Our hero weeps. And our hero nah sleep.

Grandma’s Hands

You would have been 95 today.

You would have loved your great grandsons. They have your humor and your courage.

It’s been seven and a half years since you got promoted. I still randomly weep for you.

The tears have become more joyful recently.

I thought about trying to explain to you why I’m vegan now.

I think about how much I wanted to tell you I got in to a doctoral program. Same degree as grandpa.

And whenever I get really upset, and think about how you should still be here (Follett women live long, I’ve been told), I think about how tired you were. How much you’ve earned your rest.

I dreamed you once. You were young and still beautiful. With long ponytails and joy. So much joy. It’s all that comforts me.

For Aunt Phyllis/For Mother’s Day

I wish for you to dance again

I wish for you to be healed

I wish for you to feel the wind in your hair

I wish for you to be whole

 

I wish for you to laugh

A deep, belly laugh

The kind where tears fill your eyes

I wish they were the only tears you shed

 

I wish for you to remember

And feel warm

Surrounded by past moments

I wish for you to feel loved

 

I wish for you to sing

Sing a new song

Lift your head to the heavens

Remember your help

 

I wish for you to feel full

The completion of a life well lived

The ease of having run your race

You ran it well

 

I wish for you to know joy

Deep refreshing joy

The kind that puts a smile on your face

When it doesn’t make sense

I’ll do what I can

God knows I do what I can

To make it make sense

 

 

 

What will we learn?

In September 2001, I was a tenth grader. I remember wearing my black and silver jersey, shiny black jeans, Raiders hat and And1 Moneys. I sat in the back row of French class and remember thinking this is the bluest sky I’d ever seen. Completely cloudless. A few minutes into class I remember the confusion of looking at that blue sky and hearing the worst thunder I’d ever heard.

Once we returned to school, my French teacher began to teach us about surrealism. We read French writers wrestle with this dream like state where the mind protects the body from reality. As we are in another reality altering event, I want us to take care in the lessons we learn from this. In 2001, we had an opportunity to learn about the love of our neighbor. We had moments where our smallness taught us about God’s bigness. Those lessons were momentary and faded in comparison to the ingrained lessons we kept. We kept the lesson that assured us that security is more important than privacy. We kept the lesson of fear. We kept the lesson that encouraged us to view the world through a lens of mistrust.

With this crisis we have an opportunity to love in a timely way. We can get closer even as we are social distancing. Let’s write to each other, send each other playlists, and create tournaments in video games. Let’s call our elders and make sure they are alright. Check on those of us who are always isolated. Let’s learn love.

I couldn’t call when You were dying

I’ve let my loved ones know

That in the event I’m on a plane

And think that I have arrived

At the end

I won’t make a phone call

No terror, or reminders of love

No semblance of intimacy thousands of feet in the air

No delusions of a life wrapped with a bow

Too dissimilar to death’s scar

The jagged pieces of lives shattered to pretend that we can ever truly be prepared

Earthquakes happen so frequent

We believe it’s man’s machinations

A revelation of Revelations

Or Mother Earth’s menstrual cramps

How regular and majestic

Coupled with threats of tsunami that kept me refreshing the page until the alert fell asleep

I forced myself awake determined not to find Wednesday with news you were no more

I opened WhatsApp to close it

Texted then wiped it away

Impersonal at the very least

And that’s never my intent

So I relearned that inaction is an action

And determined that I’d rather refresh then prepare myself for a final conversation

We’ve been doing so much better!

Rebuilding what never was

Though false alarm

I’m reminded that my instinct is well founded

A monument to catastrophe

How small we are in the face of the ineffable

Daily Prompt: What do I believe?

In an effort to keep my writing teeth sharp, I am participating in the Daily Prompt posted by the good people at The Daily Post.

For today’s prompt, tell us three things that you believe in your heart to be true. Tell us three things you believe in your heart to be false.

1. I believe that love transforms.

I wake up everyday further convinced that living in a loving way is the best way to go about things. I don’t want to be out here judging people’s lives or acting like I am better than anyone. My hope is to follow Christ’s example and demonstrate love everywhere. Living my faith has got to be far more effective than attractive words or compelling arguments.  

2. I believe that things will get better.

It’s hard out here for an optimist. I try to see the glass half-full while respecting others who view the glass as shattered. I’ve been really captivated by laments in the Old Testament recently. They teach me that:

  • God is not sick of my complaining.
  • Honesty is a necessary part of my prayer life.
  • We would not need hope if the situation was not difficult or seem impossible

3. I believe that it’s already done.

It’s important to operate from a place of abundance. My lens is completely different when I live with a victorious mindset. I feel grateful, am able to encourage others and am able to understand that adversity may bend me but it is not capable of breaking me. One of the most encouraging words I received in the hospital came from my uncle who told me that “Every challenge we face in life is there to be overcome.” I often ask myself if I am an actor or merely acted upon. I don’t want to live like a victim, God’s got me.

What I think is false:

1. I do not believe that “it is what it is.”

I understand why people say this but it rings in my ears like despair. Like its cousin “It’s all good (baby, baby)” an indifferent cool is displayed but it’s really nihilism in a cheap suit. Even if everyday feels like the same soup reheated, don’t give up. Prayer and perseverance can turn the ship.

2. I do not believe that anyone is worthless.

It hurts me to see folks struggling. Whether they are being oppressed by others or cutting their own noses, it grieves me. How can I enjoy my bread when I see you starving? What can we do to make community contagious? 

3. I do not believe that you cannot have light without darkness.

Balance sounds very attractive and it too has its place. But I don’t subscribe to a worldview that equates good and evil or love and hate. I believe that light always casts out darkness and that we will overcome. 

11.25.13 STCDNW (Breaking Stereotypes with HeeSun Lee)

heesun-black

 

In this episode of STCDNW Di Baddest Chaplain talks with HeeSun Lee about breaking stereotypes, Bri joins the show to recap this week’s episode of Preachers of LA, plus we go on a musical ride featuring Jin, Jahaziel, Maxi Priest (!), and much more!

“Songs that can do no wrong” is hosted by Di Baddest Chaplain on the globe, Chris B. Only on #Soundbooth Radio 1. www.soundboothradio1.com

Stay connected. @ChrisB06 on Twitter, @dibaddestchaplain on Instagram AND dibaddestchaplain.tumblr.com

Thursday is for Thinkers: Sho Baraka

I’ve experienced the work of The Comedian. As a child I sat at his feet with great expectations every Thursday night. Twenty-five years later my 8-year old daughter finds herself enjoying the work of this same Comedian. My daughter and I have regressed to old programming because contemporary entertainment doesn’t fit our family dynamic. The man in the crowd said he couldn’t relate to The Cosby Show. Well my friend I can’t relate to you. I’ve yet to find my space in this entertainment world.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2013/october/thursday-is-for-thinkers-sho-baraka.html

Coming to America | Cover | Creative Loafing Charlotte

http://m.clclt.com/charlotte/coming-to-america/Content?oid=3135164

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