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#bloglikecrazy: Day 28 – Speak Up

The Good

#28 – I performed spoken word pieces at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

There’s something you should know. I don’t like to share all of my words. Yes, I’m a writer and public speaker, but sometimes I hoard my words like a squirrel stores acorns. I know why I do it too. It’s because I don’t want to be disregarded and misunderstood. That residual flaw still lives in my bones when it comes to sharing spoken word pieces. Well, this year, I decided to begin the extraction process by accepting the opportunity to perform at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute for a social justice event. One piece commemorated the Children’s March of 1963 and the other addressed the water contamination in Flint, Michigan. My friend was supportive and the best part was having my mother there to witness my nervousness and my courage when she had the same emotions living through the Movement. I won’t lie to you, it was difficult to stand there and perform as museum attendants waited for something profound to fall from my lips… but I did it and I walked out of the BCRI 7-feet taller knowing that I was standing on the backs of those of which I spoke. Many people of different colors said how much they enjoyed my craft and who wouldn’t feel the Good after that?

The Lesson

You have a voice and it’s worth hearing. You don’t have to scream and shout if you don’t want to, and to the same degree, you don’t have to be quiet either. Just use your voice in the capacity that God gave you. That’s how the world gets better, feels different, and becomes an enriching place to live. Your voice may be through your pen, your tablet, your sewing, your outreach, your teaching, your janitorial work… speak up so everyone can have the opportunity to better than they were before they joined your company. In light of everything going on locally and nationally, it would behoove us to speak up in as many ways as possible and not judge the sound of each other’s voices. I learned that my voice is light, but it is strong. It is assertive and it is compassionate. However I choose to use it, I have nothing to be ashamed of and neither do you.

Peace & Thanks for listening. Don’t worry… I’ll share them online in February 2019. See you then.

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The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
– Proverbs 13:12

Hope deferred… That pair of words reminds me of Harlem, the famous Langston Hughes poem. It was one of my favorite reads in high school.

What truly happens to a dream deferred? That question has been a mystery for years, but the truth hasn’t changed in that the dream only dies when we allow it to cease. When you stop feeding it, it will starve and die within you. Then, you carry dead dreams, dead hope in desperate need of resuscitation. It’s hard to carry broken promises, shredded heart tissue, and withered hope. They’re like cannon balls in your chest, holding you down from flying past your present potential. This is where faith comes in from Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the substance of things HOPED for and the evidence of things not seen. Faith kicks in and stands at the door when hope runs out and fear circulates the perimeter of your heart in wait of your paralysis.

IMG_20160809_232315You can also think of this as a monetary transaction. Faith is the check written to you, while hope is the construction of belief that you’ll receive the cash. You can hold on to faith because it supersedes hope. Hope deferred will make your heart ill in longing to fulfill your purpose on Earth. Now this is where the 2nd part of the proverb makes its impact and where I get excited.

Desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Trees are designed to bear seeds. They can’t control where these seeds go, but they produce them out of obedience to their Maker. It has one job… to produce.  The tree stands tall and bears seeds and that’s how forests are formed. When your desires line up with God’s will, not fulfilling that desire/dream will make you feel seedless, unfruitful. The key word is here is FEEL. You are not a sterile spiritual being. You weren’t created to be that.

Once you tap into that TRUTH, you’ll see a tree of life inside of you, not a death sentence. Then, like a tree, the life cycle of your dream will continue well after you’re gone and growth will be inevitable. Your purpose-filled dream will touch many lives after your hands (or “branches”) have aged and produced seeds of great service. Your hope and dream(s) can not afford you to be lazy, discouraged, or spiritually sick. When something is deferred, it is not canceled… so your hope can still be resuscitated.

Keep your hope alive and intimately near  so that your rich, customized life can be the gift that keeps on giving to the soil and air around you.

Have you ever felt like your hope was petrified?

Your dream is a gift, so what are you giving?

What can you do this week to oxygenate your hope and aerate your dreams?

Feel free to comment below.

Peace & Thanks for listening. ✌

No, thanks. I’m watching my Father-Figure…

Screenshot_2015-06-15-22-37-49_1A spoken word piece that one day I’ll have the courage to say in public. For now, this is the platform. To fathers and father-figures, I salute you today and everyday. Keep going. 👊

“Bills?
I pay them.
People?
I have to raise them?
Where are the instructions?
I don’t need them.
I’ll figure it out. Just let me see them.”

“Yes, I’m qualified.
Just give me chance.
My suit isn’t tailored.
I don’t know this dance, but
I promise I can do it.
I won’t be outworked.
I can figure it out
In my blue collar shirt.”

“How am I going to explain this when I get home?
They don’t get it. I’m really trying.
I feel alone…
Divisible
Invisible
At the same time.
Not having what you need
That’s despicable to me.
But there’s too many pieces I need to be
And I don’t know where to go
I’m trying to fix what’s broken, unspoken,
without a MANual
To help me grow.

That’s why I can’t show you
My tears and my fears.
The scars… I can’t hide.
My love for you is deep
But I can’t stretch my arms wide
Enough to help you understand
The battle I’ve learned to fight
The best way I can
Despite the tools I was given,
Living in a sardine can of lost dreams
Suffocating me with my own hands
I can’t breathe.”

“5 AM. Another day.
Gotta get out of here
Make a way
Make it happen
Scratching the surface
Until I find it.
God, I’m nervous.

I can’t cry.
I’m a man.
Men don’t complain.
They do what they can.
Family first.
Live second.
My net worth?
Please, don’t check it.”

I see you,
Invisible Man,
Walking tall in public
Encroached in spirit as you stand
Privately shaking, trying not to break open
Keep being, speaking as only you can.

Thank you. I mean it.
I know it’s your duty,
but gratitude is still in order
I appreciate you.
I’m grateful for your shoulders.

On behalf of every woman that’s ignorantly watching,
waiting for you to slip up
Lurking in lust, to trip you up
Buying your affection with the jewels between her thighs
I salute you for saying
“No, not tonight.”
For taking sons and daughters to football games and
Singing silly songs on the way to school
Worried about the gas tank not being full
Wishing that your bank account was bigger than a speck
Praying that you’ll move out of the projects
Hoping that your projects become successful
Dreaming for another way
Always helpful
Educating other folk’s kids everyday
You love them past their DNA.
You’re a survivor
Thriver
Pusher
Driver
The president of the house,
The kingdom we live in.
Your heart and passion supersede your dividends
And I thank you for the sleepless nights
Counting the costs
Catching our tears with your chest
Every time we felt lost.

Thank you. I mean it.
I know it’s your duty,
but gratitude is still in order
I appreciate your seed that
Built me to conquer
I recognize you because you look familiar
Like Jesus the Christ
My fearless Leader.

My burden bearer,
Distractions will come,
But I believe in you.
Those people? Over there?
They’re taking silent notes
Getting ready for their own test.
Only this time, without you knowing,
You’re the MANual.
You’re the model.
You’re the best.

Peace, Happy Father’s Day, & Thanks for listening. ✌

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