‘God, we have pushed so many of our children into the tumultuous sea of life in small and leaky boats without survival gear and compass , forgive them and help them to forgive us. help us not to give all our children the anchors of faith and love, the rudders of purpose and hope, the sails of health and education, and the paddles of faith and community to keep them safe ans strong when life’s sea get rough.’ ~
Taken from the book: The Sea is So Wide and My Boat is So Small: Charting A Course for the Next Generation – by Marian Wright Edelman
Children go through Red Sea Situations too. Lest we forget about them today, say a prayer for them and for their sense of identity and purpose, the futures they have and the dreams they dream.
I was once a school social worker for about ten years, in Syracuse N.Y. I felt like a “mini- Martin Luther King that year, in that role. It seemed I was so compassionate about my children. They became so familiar to me, their issues and concerns, their hopes and their families. After a summer visit to Atlanta to visit the The King Center one summer I was so impressed by what I experienced and so attuned within, in my spirit. As I read, I was so impressed with Martin’s work. How could one man be so impassioned to make a difference in the lives of so many people and literally change their lives over a few decades of work through speeches and writing? Inside the glass cases I observed, were images of the suits MLK wore, the letters he wrote with his own handwriting …and I could literally feel the passion jump off the pages of his life as I laid my hands on the cases. I said a silent prayer. I prayed for a similar passionfor people and connection of my purpose to that of MLK . Something happened in that moment on a spiritual level. I am not sure exactly, but I believe my prayer was answered, because immediately, I felt such a connection to his movement. My desire is to begin my own movement for families.
Jabez asked God to redeem him, generationally. In 1 Chronicles 4:10, we read:“And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that Thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that Thine hand might be with me, and that Thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.” Ironically enough, I had prayed this prayer in order to get to Africa, for about an entire year. And the last part of this amazing scripture occurred.
I had gone the same year to South Africa and spoke with and for my mission of Kamau Center. I had visited schools and attended rallies for children to promote their self-confidence and I noticed the contrast and similarities & differences between African-American and African children, and their parenting. The nuances of hope and esteem and love and self-confidence was so connected to the pride they had in their children. I interviewed a teacher about the pride in the children and she responded by saying historically, the teachers believed that “Children are a heritage of the Lord.“ ( Psalm 127:3) I decided at that moment, I wanted to impress upon children in such a way that left a strong imprint upon their hearts of hope and history and identity. The children here, in S. Africa were consistently esteemed. They were proud. Their sense of identity had not been lost with the Middle Passage. Their community surrounded them in teaching them their history. While hearing her story, instantly I knew what the adage “it takes a village to raise a child” . It now had personal meaning, because it was community-purposed. Not only did the children’s parents teach it in the home, their esteem was valued in the street, community, schools an every place they went.
I write about the esteem of the youth in my South African Journal. I never saw children again through the same lens after these two experiences. I realized that parenting from one generation to the next meant planting seeds in the parents as well and giving the parents a hope and desire to be whole as well. However, had I not visited the The King Center, I may not have been motivated to esteem them in with a naming ceremony. I see them as destined to reach mountains and places and have a sense of peace and hope that begins with seed-planting and hope-giving and having celebrations to help them recognize they are appreciated and feel invigorated in the understanding of why they are here on earth and believe and know they are here for a reason to make their claim in the world. As we as adults esteem them, they realize their worth. If we don’t take the time to do so, we fail them. Some place along the lone, they will learn from others their worth, and it’s up to us – their village – to help them realize they have potential and they are indeed IMPORTANT.
As I wrote this post, I listened to Micah Stampley’s – You Are Lord and it just makes so much sense to have a deeper understanding of where you come from and who you are connected to, before you are unctioned to live out your purpose in the Lord.