I think I’m becoming more spiritual. I’ve been rolling this blog around in my head for two weeks now, but I felt it might be too much. But then today at church, the sermon really meshed with what I wanted to write about.
There is a gospel song titled, “My Soul Says Yes”. Two weeks ago T was dropping me off in Columbia Heights—I bum rides all the time from different people—after an event about the draconian police measures our mayor is trying to implement. Before I got out of the car T started talking about where I’ve been, where I am and where I’m going. She is so much a part of where I am and where I am going. I wanted to write this blog, but I thought it might be misconstrued.
Then today the minister talked about Bartimaeus, the blind beggar that asks Jesus for sight. However, the importance of the message to me was not about the healing, but the desire to see. Most importantly for me is Jesus asks Bartimaeus, “What do you want from me?”
T asked me this question when we first met. I answered, “For you to see me, believe me stand by me and fight for me.” I do not believe T ever has been unable to see. This is her gift. When she dropped me off two weeks ago she told me that she feels so vindicated when she watches the shift in people who have judged me unfairly and without just cause. T has done everything I asked for and more. When I was about to be street homeless, she put her reputation on the line and used her power to speak for me, fight for me, believe in me and stand by me. Her soul said yes to what she saw. T sees so much and her soul says yes to the many who are marginalized and unseen, more often than not, to the point that she becomes ill—and yet she continues to see and say yes.
When I listened to the sermon today I realized that my soul too says yes, but often I do not have the resources or privilege when I say yes. Yet this does not stop me. In a three-week period I stepped in when I saw police harassing poor, traumatized individuals suffering from mental illness and homelessness. I inserted myself and quietly asked questions. I have stopped being the “Amen” corner, and started to become the Seeing and Soul Saying Yes Advocate. I’ve put myself in the position of being arrested three times recently and this could have my supervised release revoked and me put back in prison. However, when I think about T and I merge it with the lesson the minister gave today, I realize that the gospel song, “My Soul Says Yes,” is not about standing out as a Christian. It is about standing up in the face of injustice and following and acting regardless of the risk to myself.
T has put her reputation on the line for me—someone no more important than a blind beggar on the roadside—because she has been given the gift of sight and her soul says yes. This is the example I want to follow. My soul says yes in the face of injustice and then I act and do things accordingly—like T. And you? What do you do when you have the gift of sight? I hope your Soul Says Yes