If we’re the ones we’re waiting for, we best get to it
By Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis
They will come for us, you know.
If they are afraid. If they feel threatened. If our way of life makes them wonder if their way matters.
They will come for us, you know this, because they have. For strong women. For soft-spoken men. For those who speak Spanish or Mandarin. For people with dark skin. For those in kipas and prayer shawls, for those in hijabs, those praying to Allah.
They will come for us in churches, in temples, in shopping malls, and in nightclubs. Just because we are who we are. And because they can.
They think their hatred is powerful, their violence decisive, that their acts of terror will terrorize us. True, these violent acts are frightening. But we are stronger than fear. We are stronger than hatred. We have the real power, love power.
After the violence in Orlando, I shared this rap, this prayer, inspired by John Legend and Common whose song, “Glory” is my new national anthem. It is like scripture to me. It makes me think about race, about gender, about sexuality, about faith, and about how these are gifts from God. To be celebrated. That one day, when the Glory comes, we will all cherish these differences. Behold the intersections and marvel at the complications. Delight in the unique ways we see the world, and lavish love on one another. So much love as to cancel out the hatred. And the suffering will end. And the Glory of God will shine on all of creation. Right here on earth.
One day. Because love heals.
One day. Soon.
Here is my prayer, my rap:
Tina Turner sang we don’t need another hero
Yeah we do and the hero is we, so
Fear is our enemy, love is the power
We’ve gotta make choices every day, every hour
Children are hungry, their parents need money
Pensions disappearing because of greed, honey
Passin’ laws ‘bout bathrooms, legislating pee
We’ve got to keep working ‘til every body’s free
Fear of the stranger, hatred is dangerous
If we keep silent, the enemy, well it’s us
Nothing wrong with dreams but we’re runnin’ out of time
Got to use our vote to change the paradigm
Burkas, kipas, hijabs, prayer shawls
There is just one God, and she loves us all
We’ve got to stop killing the ones we’re afraid of
Got to stop hatin’ on each other and do some love
White skin, brown skin, boot black—beautiful
No matter who you love, your body is wonderful
Todas las gentes hablan muchas idiomas
Sharing our stories is the thing that will free us
June Jordan said it, Tituss put it to the music
If we’re the ones we’re waiting for, we best to get to it
We’ve got the love power, we can change the story
When we live God’s vision, our eyes WILL see the Glory!
One day… soon.
TO: SEN. CHRIS MURPHY AND THE U.S. SENATE
As people of faith, we thank Senator Chris Murphy for his prophetic stand against gun violence on the Senate Floor and call on U.S. Senators to honor Murphy’s request for a vote on critical gun safety legislation.
Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis is the senior minister at Middle Collegiate Church in New York City, host of MSNBC.com’s “Just Faith,” and an Auburn Senior Fellow. Which Voices leave you wanting to hear more? Email us ideas for interviews at firstname.lastname@example.org.