“Cry the beloved country“, is the title of a book about the plight of black South Africans during the Apartheid era. It evokes memories of the legendary Steve Biko, and others, who paid the ultimate sacrifice in their struggle for, freedom and justice.
And as I began writing about my beloved country Jamaica, and the country where my children and grandchildren live, the USA, the title came into my head. As tears are flowing, prayers are being offered up, and much debate is happening about the fact that, to quote Shakespeare ” Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”.
For, as in Hamlet, not just ghosts, but demons, ‘ have climbed over the walls of the palace’, and entered into the hearts of our people. In America. In Jamaica.
How else can you explain the bizarre behaviour of Donald Trump and his team, which has caused so much ” chaos and confusion ‘, in America? After just one month in office! And the rise to power of Steve Bannon who reportedly said that, ‘ darkness is good’.
How else can you explain the continued high murder rate in my country. A blot on our nation’s conscience, which ‘ caught in its web’, the 90 year old defenseless Peter Abrahams; a South African who made Jamaica his home, and contributed so much to national development. But then sadly, to our everlasting shame, only to perish at the hands of the wicked.
Must we then not ” Cry about our beloved, and adopted country”.
Must we not cry, when, rushing to defend their ‘ god ‘, the internationally acclaimed dancehall artist, Vybes Kartel, hundreds of people took to social media to denounce, and even to threaten with rape and death, a Jamaican parliamentarian, Lisa Hanna.
All because she had the ‘ temerity’ to suggest that songs of murderers, Kartel is serving time for murder, ought to be banned from being played on radio. A story that provoked a lot of discussion about whether or not people in jail ought to be allowed to record songs in jail, have them played on radio and earn an income from that activity.
Must we not cry, when the defenders of America’s hard fought for democracy, the Free Press, is increasingly coming under attack from the Trump administration. All of this happening in the context of threatened mass deportation of even naturalized citizens of the USA, who have broken the law. Even a traffic violation! In the ‘ home of the free and the land of the brave’.
Must we not cry when the wicked abduct and rape and kill, and throw the bodies of our young girls into bush like garbage ; and evil men molest our children. Thus inspiring one of our popular social media activist Dr. Michael Abrahams to produce a very probing, no holds barred song, entitled ” Break the Silence”.
@dennisbroox @kalilahe A dem song deh fi get awards….Michael Abrahams song on sexual abuse. Best song I’ve heard in a while.
Break The Silence @mikeyabrahams exclusive New Tune @FreshStart93FM https://t.co/9cZoxdd4a8
And in the midst of this madness the Lord sent a timely word into my heart one night. And which I posted on Facebook.
Going to bed tonight with the discussion with Dionne Jackson Miller and Dr. Donna Hope #UWI on #beyondtheheadlines…about #Kartel and lyrics and #LisaHanna and banning…… and producing music while in prison……on my mind.
And how do we rescue our society from #MurderinJamaica #rompinshoponthebus music #teenagepregnancy. #Garrisonculture
Then found this in The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers:
Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it : except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. Ps.127:1
So it’s not just the music alone gone bad……but:
“…If I do not countenance God in every relationship of my life I shall end in disaster”…...
……In prison……25 with five children…….murderer…..transactional sex….sex with young girls……daggering…..get on baad….I loose…..tempted to touch……corruption #WhyNationsFail ….creating and sustaining garrisons…..mommy where is daddy…..daddy let go of mommy’s hair…..DADDY! …..paying less than the minimum wage……going on preretirement leave as the pickney dem too bad……#transrights #FreeKartel ….what have we done with our country……the world #SteveBannon #chaosanddarkness
Perhaps we ‘ talk but in vain’ as the blind cannot lead the blind. God help Jamaica. And the world!
And after that another ‘gift’ from the Lord came by way of a reminder of a meditation from Francois Fenelon ( 1651 -1715….a former Archbishop in the Church and a deeply devotional man).
I pray God that our people may immerse themselves in truths like these. For setting up Kartel and Trump, as your ‘ gods ‘ will only lead to chaos and confusion. And lead to wickedness ‘ climbing over the walls of the palace ‘. Thus causing us to cry for our beloved countries.
UNCEASING DEPENDENCE: CONTINUAL PEACE – ABRIDGED
Verse: Levitucus 25:21 ( About the year of The Jubilee…..and remember that ” All of God’s promises are ‘Yes ‘in Christ Jesus.
Do not dwell upon remote events; this anxiety about the future is contrary to the religious state of mind. When God bestows any blessings upon you, look only to him in the comfort that you receive it, and take every day the manna that he sends you, as the Israelite did, without making yourself any provision for the morrow.
A life of faith produces two things. First, it enables you to see God in everything . Secondly, it holds the mind in a state of readiness for whatever may be his will. We must trust to God for whatever depends upon him, and only think of being faithful ourselves in the performance of our duties.
This continual, unceasing dependence, this state of entire peace and acquiescence of the soul in whatever may happen, is the true, silent martyrdom of self. It is so slow, and gradual, and internal, that they who experience it ate hardly conscious of it.
Comment: If read carefully and understood and obeyed, this reflection will go a long way to explain how we arrive at the ultimate goal of the Christian journey, viz, “ I have been crucified in Christ. Nevertheless I live. Yet not I but Christ who lives in me. Galatians 2.
Finally it will also help us to understand that all the meditations in the world, all the blogging that we do, are of little moment when compared to what Karl Barth reflected on. And about which I posted this message on Facebook this week.
My ‘ song in the night ‘ last night was, ” My grace is sufficient for you”.
And as I read the passage this morning, nestled in the words of the Holy Scriptures, was this quote from Peter Marshall; a former chaplain of the United States Senate.
“ God is sufficient for all our needs, for every problem, and for every difficulty, for every broken heart, and for every human sorrow“.
Then on the next page this extract from one of the most prolific writers of all the theologians – Karl Barth..…a German theologian and contemporary of Bonhoeffer – a Christian martyr and theologian in Nazi Germany. ( And but for the grace of God we would all be speaking German now….if alive at all)
“……..Some of you may have heard that in the last forty years I have written many books, some large. I will freely and frankly and gladly admit that these six words say much more and better things than all the heaps of paper with which I have surrounded myself. They are enough – which cannot be said even remotely of my books…..and when my books are long since outdated and forgotten, and every other book in the world with them, these words will still shine with everlasting fullness. ” My grace is sufficient for you’. #earlymorningdevotions and #biblestudylastnight #fakenews #alternatetivefact
So as we cry about our beloved countries, let us never forget that ” My grace is sufficient for you “.
In Kartel’s Jamaica and Trump’s America. And will continue to be sufficient long after they have gone.
As: ” For all flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flowers of grass. The grass withers and the flower falls, but the Word of the Lord endures forever.”