When I was in middle school, I was a patrol team member. I got to school early every morning and reverently raised the American flag. I helped lead the class in the Pledge of Allegiance Every. Single. Morning. Each afternoon once everyone had gone home, I helped take it down and folded it military style. Growing up, I had such deep respect for the ideals of our country. Baker men and women served our country for generations. I LOVED the constitution and even memorized most of it at one point. Then one day I started to realize that these ideals didn’t really apply to me— they didn’t apply to black people or women. Considering that I am both black and female, I was offended to learn that rights for me were amendments—basically “afterthoughts” that took many many years of struggle and sacrifice to obtain. As I grew into adulthood, I no longer looked at the Flag with the same innocent eyes, and I no longer gave my pledge with the same conviction—right hand crushed to my heart with eyes glued to the flag, immensely proud of my country— because I had seen and experienced enough to know that “One Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for ALL” just isn’t true. I was then, and I am still sooo gravely disappointed. I can’t wrap my mind around the level of fear, hatred and evil that would make someone open fire in a church or in the aisles of Walmart. What sense of intimidation makes it ok to try and oppress/suppress an entire gender, race, or identity??
Have we forgotten that America’s greatness lies in its diversity of people, ideas and skills? The saddest thing is that we betray our heavenly Father by claiming to be a “nation under God.” We are an entire country of delusional people if we think for one second that God is invested in or pleased with the way we treat each other in the USA.
This month, my sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. has our International Day of pray. As we prepare for this special time of corporate prayer, I am going to be praying each day for our country. Its leadership, laws, safety, children, churches, but most importantly, I will be praying for its HEART. That God intervene in the hearts and affairs of men and turn our country’s heart back to Him. That He mold us into “One Nation” under His leadership. I will be praying that He give us his eyes to see each other they way He sees us, that He give us patience and tolerance to bear with one another’s weaknesses and/or differences. I will be petitioning Yahweh for an infusion of Holy Spirit in every individual who claims to be a follower of Christ. My Grandma Ruth used to say, “don’t play around when you call on the name of the Lord, because He will show up!” So I am asking him to “show up” in every individual, every church, every home, every office building and public place, every school, every nook corner and cranny of this nation until we are changed by His presence– so we can become the nation of leaders and examples that we should be.
I invite you