Updated: Aug 9, 2020
Y'all, so it's Black History Month!!!!!! And let me tell you, I love and am very proud of my heritage (Ghana baby) and who am I. But I found myself, even yesterday, getting a little upset about the history of my people. Some of the injustices we have seen take place for Black people have been so heart wrenching. And I wish I could say "some of the injustices we have seen tae place 50 years ago," but some of those injustices are only a couple days old.
Yesterday, I was thinking about two movies I watched last year (BT dubs, I would highly recommend watching): If Beale Street Could Talk (based off James Baldwin's work) and Queen and Slim. Both are such well produced, excellent movies. One is based off 1970s era and one is present day, yet both movies portray the same discrimination and inequalities. It literally put me to tears thinking about it. I actually felt a little helpless. Although these are just a movies, unfortunately the movies are depictions of what happens every day in the United States.
I being an OBGYN, even think about he disparities in healthcare treatment and outcomes. Unfortunately for Black women, they have worse obstetrical outcomes, higher rates of cervical cancer, receive pain medication less than other ethnic groups, and the list goes on.
I sat and asked God why and wanted answers!
And as I sat and thought about this, I was reminded about the power of perspective. The injustices I have read about in history books, witnessed, and even experienced tried to cloud my judgement and make me bitter and hate-filled. If someone puts on a pair of glasses and another person runs up and smears some thick mud over the lenses, do you just let the mud dry and keep walking around trying to see while running into every sharp corner and hard brick wall known to man? No! You take the glasses off. Yes, it may be messed up that someone came and smeared mud of the glasses but fussing over it and continuing to wear the glasses, one, doesn't change the situation, and two, is not in your best interest because you will get injured not seeing properly.
I think about two characters in the Bible in particular: King David and Jesus, who had some really messed up things done to them. In 1 Samuel 25, we see David (who is not yet a king) is living in a very rich man's pasture taking care of it as he runs from Kind Saul, who is trying to kill him in his fits of jealous rage. This rich man, called Nabal, is about to throw a big party because he's about to cash out his profit from all the sheep wool he's going to sheer.
David sends one of his men to ask Nabal if he could pretty please have some of his left overs from the party, because they are nomads and they are hungry. Nabal basically insults David and brushes his servant off to the side. David is very upset considering he has helped watch over the pasture and protect the sheep and herdsmen. And David is very ready to kill Nabal and everyone in his house at this point. Nabal's wife, Abigal finds out about all of David's plans. And she runs to the pasture and begs David to hold his horses and reconsider what he's thinking about doing. She said:
"Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the Lord, and evil shall not be found in you so long as you live. If men rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the Lord your God. And the lives of your enemies he shall sling out as from the hollow of a sling. And when the Lord has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you and has appointed you prince[d] over Israel, my lord shall have no cause of grief or pangs of conscience for having shed blood without cause or for my lord working salvation himself." 1 Samuel 25:28-31
Basically she tells David, forgive my husband; he's a fool. But most importantly forgive him and don't do what you were planning to do. You have such a bright future (becoming a mighty king). You have so much going for you. Don't put blood stains on your hands, it'll each at your conscience and block the blessings you got coming your way.
So David listened to Abigail and turned back around to his pasture home. Abigail returned home and her husband, Nabal was turning up enjoying his expected profit. The next morning Abigail told Nabal all that took place and literally the bible says, "his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. And about ten days later the Lord struck Nabal, and he died." (1 Samuel 25:37-38). Sounds like he had a stroke. Oops 🙊
Or let's think about Jesus, the Savior of the whole world, the Redeemer of my entire soul, My friend, the One who forgives and loves me unconditionally. On Earth, he only did good to people. He loved on people, healed the sick, fed the hungry, helped build up people to live in their purpose, and what did he get in return? He was backstabbed by one of his "right hand men," Judas. He was whipped with thorny spike whips; he was mocked and spit on; he was crucified, hung on a cross and murdered. Jesus had all the right to say, "forget this. I am going back to heaven!" He could have called on a squad of angels to take him back up to his perfect peace and leave this dusty, messy earth thing behind. But He knew in doing so He wouldn't fulfill his purpose which is saving humanity from death, sin, the grave, and ultimately the fiery pits of hell that we deserve. Because when he died, he rose again 3 days later, having defeated death, sin and the grave! 🙌🙌🙌
Kind David and Jesus didn't let the injustices they faced knock them off the trajectory of their life or from living out their purpose. As a first generation Ghanaian (African)-American, I too cannot get knocked off my purpose. It is very easy to get cynical, bitter, and jaded by American History and what has taken place for Blacks, but we must not! We have to keep striving towards breaking chains of poverty. We have to keep pushing towards having a seat at the table to make political, governmental, health policy related changes for our communities. We have to keep inspiring others to stay in school, get educated, secure the bag, start businesses, become a leader! We can do it!!! Because the power of Jesus Christ is fueling us!
We must remember:
-We are all part of one race-- the human race.
-Not every evil done in the past (distant or recent past) is a reflection on an entire race of people. Don't generalize offenders to a race of people. Take each person as an individual.
-Jesus calls us to love all people.
-Do not let bitterness block your purpose of blessing.
-Jesus is the ultimate one who fights your battles (1 Samuel 17:47).
-Know that your kindness even to those that don't like you actually causes more conviction and pain to that person than you giving them the clap back they expect you to (Proverbs 25:21-22)
You're kindness, your gentleness with those that are not gentle towards you, your maturity and patience is being noticed and will be rewarded. Don't stop being kind.
It's God's kindness that changed our hearts (Romans 2:4).
And it's the same kindness that he calls us to give to others that can also change theirs.
Scriptural References (click the text to get to the link):
-Story of David, Abigail and Nabal
-1 Samuel 17:47
-Jesus backstabbed, crucified and murdered (John 17, 18, 20)
Happy Black History Month
Fun Facts about Jenn Jenn
If I could choose another career I think I would have been a business woman. I love buying and selling. When I was in elementary school I use to make Kool Aid Slushies and sell it to the kids on the block.
In middle school I bought candy in bulk at Sam's Club and sold it for a buck a pop. But then I got busted and had to go to in school suspension :(.
In college I bought text books for the low low and sold it at market price and also sold my football season passes.
Sounds like I could have been a day time trader. Hmmmm 🤔🤔🤔
Jenn Jenn Vibes
Steffany Gretzinger is my girl! And this man's voice is beasty. Wow!
I hope you enjoy it.