There is a story in the Bible about a widow and a prophet of God. The prophet Elijah was told by God to move to a village and since Elijah had no home or money, God would instruct a widow to feed him. When he arrived at the gates of the city, he saw a woman gathering sticks and asked her to bring him a cup of water and a bite of bread. The woman responded saying she did not have a single piece of bread in her entire house. All that she had was a handful of flour and a little cooking oil. She was gathering sticks to build a fire and cook one final meal for her and her son before they would die. Nevertheless, the man of God told her to not be afraid, go ahead and do what she set out to do but first make a little bread for him to eat and then use what was left over to make a meal for her and her son. On the surface, this sounds crazy but here is the most important part of the story. He told her by following his instructions, God would bless her and there would always be flour and oil in her house.
The flaws America swept under the rug were uncovered for the world to see during the Presidential election of 2016. Racism, sexism, discrimination and many other tools of oppression are now talked about constantly in the daily news cycle instead of being whispered about among the disenfranchised. Donald Trump becoming the President-elect brought so many of those issues that hid in shadows into the direct sunlight.
As I watched the television coverage last Tuesday night I saw so many sad, broken, angry and disappointed faces. People who could not believe a man that ran a campaign grounded in hate, bigotry and discrimination will now be the leader of the free world. People who were afraid for their future and the future of their loved ones. But I’ve come to encourage my people...smile. Not because you’re happy, not because you are supposed to flip a switch and believe this man will make America Great, but because just like the widow, what you have will enable you to make it another day.
I sat last Tuesday watching in disbelief. I ran the gamut of emotions during 5 hours of election night coverage, watching state after state being called. I laid down that night, mind racing and eventually drifted off to sleep. Wednesday morning, a strange thing happened….God allowed me to wake up, just like any other day, I had my time to meditate, like any other day, I got myself out the door for work, just like any other day and the sun rose in the east, just like any other day.
I refuse to believe any man walking God’s green earth will stop me from fulfilling my destiny. I refuse to believe any man can stop me from loving those around me. I refuse to believe that any man can stop me from being a change agent in my community. I refuse to believe that any man can stop me from reaching my full potential and creating my best life. I refuse to believe any man will stop me from build financial and spiritual wealth for my future generations. I refuse to believe I cannot become all I am supposed to be because of a man behind a desk in Washington D.C. We reject this line of thinking, this shortsighted, covered in doom paradigm. We won’t use this man occupying this office as a crutch or an excuse. Excuses are explanations for failure and we don’t fail.
To conclude the story, the woman and her son ate that day, the next and many more after that because she was obedient and used what she had in the house. We don’t need a man sitting behind a desk to achieve greatness in our lives. We have what we need to keep pushing forward.
Every generation has their own earth shifting - let me gather my sticks moment. Could this be ours? Could this time, in this country, in this climate be our opportunity to make a mark on America creating a brighter tomorrow for our sons and daughters?
Hurt, grieve, get angry, do whatever you need to do but be sure that if God continues to allow you to have breath in your body, you’ll make it. We are the seeds of strong men, women who survived 200 plus years of slavery, slaughter, and more. We are fighters, survivors. Our people have accomplished great things over time in spite of unfavorable presidents in Washington. I am not saying everything is great, there is plenty of work to be done, clearly there are changes to be made. But we should be obedient, live the principles we believe in and make the most of our moment. We will be alright, because everything we need to make it is already in the house.