Whatever my individual desires were to be free, I was not alone. There were many others who felt the same way.
Rosa Parks, 1913-2005
American Civil Rights Activist
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
I woke up this morning with Nina Simone’s voice in my head. I heard her singing Billy Taylor’s “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to be Free.” I will include it in this post. She is my guest preacher today. As you listen to her talk about freedom, and her personal experience with actually feeling free, look at her eyes. The message is right there in the well of her unshed tears.
We all experience situations where we wish we were free. An abusive relationship, an oppressive job, a stifling co-worker, a professor who is less than uplifting or helpful. For me, the word that sang out was fear. When Nina Simone said “I had a couple of times on stage when I really felt free and that’s somethin’ else.That’s really something else! I’ll tell you what freedom is to me, no fear.”
My heart and my eyes got together and had church. Fear has kept me from doing things in the past that has impacted my own joy, kept me from participating, held me from speaking out. This year has given me courage and affirmation that I never had before. Combined with the experience of going back to school it has made me a much freer person. Freer because I have confidence that I can. Period.
That confidence is multiplied by the love of Jesus and upheld by the presence of God.
Today, as you listen to this song, think of that one thing or that one time you felt free. Stand in it and rejoice…then, dance forward. You are not alone.
Because of Him,