Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Substance of Things Hoped For...


My grandmothers, Mrs. Ilene Wells, living at ninety-six years young, and Mrs. Rosie Mae Mitchell, who transcended this existence in 2005, repeatedly told me as a young boy and even in young adulthood to "never lose faith." Theirs was an undying faith that fueled their lives and spirituality. In recent days and weeks, the very faith they could (and have) conjured up in in a moment's notice has been hard to have for many of the so called "heroes" or "old guard" of the civil rights movement.

However, I must say that I am glad to see Congressman John Lewis pledge to cast his superdelegate vote for Senator Barack Obama. Lewis for me was the standard for which I measured myself thinking that at my age now he had accomplished so much more than I could dream of. His sacrifice as young man caused me to compare my own life to his. Daily I would ask myself, "How have I worked for the good of my people?" Lately however, Lewis had indeed become an anathema to my hope and spirit. "How could he turn his back on the same spirit of change that propelled him from a sleepy eyed Georgia college student at Fisk University into one of the organizing faces (and forces) of the youth of the Black Freedom Movement?" That question went round and round in my mind over the past few days.

I guess that small faith...that mustard seed of hope must have hit his soul and remembrances of what likely Dr. King would say to him now filled his mind. Maybe it was thoughts of the Edmund Petits Bridge Massacre of 1965? Whatever the reason, he has been moved to change. Should Lewis be ashamed? No, I do not believe so. We all make mistakes but it takes courage to admit you were wrong. "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort or convenience, but where stands in moments of trial and controversy," Dr. King once poignantly stated.

I salute Lewis for taking time to reflect and arrive at the decision he made to use his superdelegate status to support Obama. I think he must have heard the spirit of his grandmother's whispering to him, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence fo things not seen." (Hebrews 11:11, KJV)

To see New York Times Article click here

2 comments:

Leslie said...

Thank you for reminding us about the power of faith. Although Hillary Clinton has recently attempted to dismiss the depth and power of Obama's message by describing it as "empty words," you have done a brilliant job of showing how faith, hope, and vision can be transformed into powerful tools of liberation. In the final analysis, that is what (to me) is the most powerful aspect of Obama's campaign. He has shown us how to believe again...

The Bougie Baller said...

Hi Vernon :)

-Leah

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