Journal of the People’s Pastor

“Writing The History I’ve Lived, Living The History I Write!”

DARFUR DIARY

" Part VII: Another Memorable Week in the Life of An Activist Pastor "
“37th Congressional Weekend of the Legislative Caucus”

PRAYER TO END THE VIOLENCE IN THE STREETS


Oh God, God of our Weary Years, God of our Silent Tears, Thou, who has brought us thus far on the way!

Oh God, our help in ages past, Our help for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast and our eternal home. Thou who has brought us thus far on the way!

As we gather here amid the opulence and spaciousness of this place, awaiting with bated breath, the historic occasion in which forty African Americans will be sworn in to the 103rd Congress of the United Sates of America,
We remember where you have brought us from; we remember the long devastating years of slavery; we remember the bitter disappointments of post reconstruction; we remember the dehumanization of Jim Crow; Yes, and we remember the denials and discrimination that still wreaks havoc in the lives of our people.

Yes, we remember the pain and terror of by-gone years, the violence, impoverishment, disease and despair of today. But through it all, we have been faithful and hopeful – and so today our hearts pound rhythmically in a steady beat of gratitude.

We know that we are not what we ought to be, we know that we are not what we are going to be, but we thank thee, Oh Lord, for we know we are not what we used to be.

We thank thee for the forty who will bring the hopes and aspirations, yes, the hurts and desperation of their people to the national altar bearing the awesome responsibility to usher in a better day.

We pray for all these leaders. The old and the new, of this their bountiful land. We pray for the forty African American, sons and daughters of former slaves. Let them forever feel the pain; let them forever hear the moans of their people who have sent them here; let them always be driven by the mandate to:

House the shelterless,
Take care of the needy,
Provide for the orphans and the aging,
Jobs for the jobless,
Medical care for the sick, and,
To fight for justice ad equality.
Grant that they may never stray from the path, Oh God, where they first met thee, and become drunk with the wine of the world and forget thee.

In particular, Oh Lord, this weighs heavily on our hearts: The violence in the streets. We are not unmindful of the violence in the suites. Indeed, we do wonder sometimes, if there were no violence and lawlessness in the suites or high places, if there would be any violence or lawlessness in the low places or the streets.

We are forced to admit, that what we see in the streets of America, what we see among our youth, is but a reflection of adults who have set the moral tone, determining the values, and, fixing the priorities that shape the social order.
Forgive us for our hypocrisy, our blindness and foolish ways and end the violence in the streets.

How painful it is to ponder that so many of our youth never reach even the noonday of their lives. They are cut short and sent to an early grave by their own peers. These, our youth, kill each other more than anyone else.

And in the violence as youth shoot at youth, so often the innocent are caught in the crossfire. The old, the children, decent contributors to society are senselessly snuffed out. They are in the words of the street “mushroomed” –innocent bystanders crushed underfoot of gunfire. How violent are the streets, Oh Lord, and the blood cries out to thee for help.

In some of our great cities, gangs of youth clash with blazing knives and deadly firearms. Dope and alcohol proliferates, rapes, muggings and assaults abound on every side. The epidemic of AIDS escalates and lawlessness is the talk of the street.

This pathology of the abnormal has not only decimated our communities in terms of disease, violence and death, but also incarceration runs into staggering numbers. Rights here, in this city, the capitol of the United States of America, with its imposing buildings, where men and women of power and prestige hold forth, this city of pomp and ostentation, which pride itself on being the center of the world, 42% of men of African Ancestry between 17-35 are in some way caught in the criminal justice system.

And so, Oh Lord, we commit these matters to your hand. They are more than we can bear. But, with you, Oh Lord, all things are possible, with your help, we can make a difference!

We can put an end to violence in the suites, as well as violence in the streets. There can be peace in the valley. We can lay down our knives and guns and study violence no more.

Grant, Oh Lord, that on this historic occasion, on this morning of our soaring hopes that we might continue to move ahead with even greater strides until in the not so distance future, we might reach the promised land.

To be continued…

Upcoming Events
Attend the Timbuktu Learning Center’s weekly Thursday night forums 7pm to 9pm held at the House of the Lord Church.
Attend NRLAA’s monthly forum focusing on Africa the 2nd Saturday from 12pm to 2pm.
Organizing Meetings regarding Darfur every Thursday - 12noon @ the House of the Lord Church
Keep abreast of our Darfurian activities by checking our web page @ www.holnj.org.
For further Information on all events, contact The House of the Lord Church @ (718) 596-1991.