“…and your old men shall dream dreams.” — Acts 2:17 KJV
By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.
As we begin the New Year befuddled and confused, I wonder, where are we headed? Disaster is the kismet for such a way as ours. A way filled with disrespect and no regard for life as we continue to send our soldiers, ill equipped, to fight a war. We’ve divided our communities with conflict-ridden measures, pitting families against government and citizens against police. Who will win?
As if stranded on some Godforsaken island, I search the horizon, looking and hoping for a rescue vessel only to be entertained by “The Flying Dutchman,” a ghost ship,
Where is our hope and where is our recovery?
I’m reaching for hope but it’s like trying to hold on to hot steam escaping from electrical turbines used to cool nuclear waste. It cooks the skin from your hands, leaving only charred bones, unable to maintain a grip.
Yet my unconquerable human spirit that comes from a lineage of overcoming suffering and my determination which is fueled by oceans of ancestral blood won’t allow me to stop reaching for hope.
A strengthening disgust towards our country from without and within appears to have created a drunkenness in our leadership that has led to a state of ‘delusions of grandeur’.
Where am I?
Poor people who just got health insurance are now trying to grasp losing it. There are conversations had that are begging people, all kinds of people, to move to Canada, anywhere outside of this country and people are really doing just that.
Sicknesses of all kinds are finding shelter in the homes of the rich and famous; nobody is left undisturbed in the wake of new diseases.
People in New Orleans and other places where natural disastrous have destroyed their homes, still can’t go home because there are no homes to go to.
Just outside of my office is a homeless camp. I don’t have the heart to call the authorities and have them vacated or relocated; they (the homeless) say that they have no place to go.
Drive-by shootings, homeless people being killed, babies being dragged by hit-and-run-drivers, killings by gun fire and violence almost outnumber the parades on a holiday in honor of a man who preached nonviolence and bodies being found all over the place.
This can’t be America.
Every morning I awaken from what appears to be a re-occurring dream but with constant reminders from news media, I wonder if it is a dream at all.
It’s got to get better. Nothing ever just happens. There is a cause and effect. Where do we fit into this equation? Are we just the cause or an ill effect of the cause?
Throughout our struggles, there has always been the need to keep us together. It’s as if we, the soil that life itself is planted, grown and nurtured in, is now caught up in a struggle with pesticides that have all but killed everything.
When the storms and reality of dreams become too unpleasant, I can understand better the words and emotions expressed in our Negro National Anthem Lift Every Voice and Sing, written by James Weldon Johnson and his brother, John Rosamond. There is one stanza in particular that is suitable for this piece:
God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, Thou who has brought us thus far on the way; Thou who has by Thy might Led us into the light, Keep us forever in the path, we pray. Lest our feet stray from the places, Our God, where we met Thee; Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee; Shadowed beneath Thy hand, May we forever stand. True to our GOD, True to our native land.
I struggle with dreams. Reality is what fuels my dreams and the reality of it all is you have to have a dream in order to live.
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”
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