PRAYER

Where do I begin?

How do I find my way home? How do I understand a language I have not been taught. Battered and bruised but never broken. Jesus and his Crown of Thorns to bear the sins of man. For The Spirit is real and it dwells within me, I have no fear of you ever leaving me. Lord, what will you have me do?

I stand here today to bless the ground that my ancestors stood on, like sheep to the slaughter, their blood sweat and tears, the ground where they stood and cried. I stand in this brokenness.

How does one bless this place? How much time does one have to right a wrong? How much time does one have to admit to himself that he has committed an unforgivable wrong but has yet been forgiven? This is the question every man must ask himself.

I am calling your name.

I stand here today to talk to the Fathers of my father. You endured so I could survive. You endured to give me this voice in this world. This world doesn’t scare me anymore. I put on the robe of my ancestors. This world does not frighten me anymore. This world does not frighten me anymore. I go deep before I go wide. I speak this into existence.

I am calling your name.

I see the River of Blood that has been shed on the Trail of Tears. I see the mountains of bodies that have been left behind. The families broken. I feel the pain of the mothers’ whose children were snatched out of their arms. The fathers denied the right to see their sons grow.

Because your daddy wasn’t nothing, you nothing. No. Because your mama wasn’t nothing, you nothing. No. I will break the chains of the past. I will do this. I will make us proud. How do I find my way home? I am calling your name.

I am my father, my father’s father. Their spirits dwell in my heart and mind and guide me through this uncharted territory. We are consecrated through blood and tears.

How did you live the life that was thrust upon you by force.

How did you understand a language you had never been taught.

Today, we stand as one and give thanks and bless this land that has not blessed us. The spirits of my ancestor’s visit my dreams every night….whisper in my ear. I am standing on their shoulders.

There’s a challenge to overcome the chains of the past. There’s a challenge to sanctify my manhood, my identity, my humanity. They are here and I am here and when the two connect, the spirit takes flight. The California wildfire has nothing on the Ancestor Spirits.

For it is only by knowing that the cattle on a thousand fields belong to my father, therefore they belong to me as well. And not only do I claim it, it has been promised to me.

I am calling your name.

I have not yet seen where it ends. I’m just a man. What God has made me is what I am. Battered and bruised but never broken. Jesus and his Crown of Thorns to bear the sins of man.

I am calling your name.

Amen.

- Barry Darnell Burton


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