‘Hands to Hold’

Is race going to continue to rule your life?

A sample from Book 10

 Hands to Hold
 
you come at me
you're not discrete
bold...unsure
 
maybe there's a gun in my hand
maybe I've some contraband
 
or maybe I just like hands in pocket
or wearing my earphones in my car
so I can answer this here phone
for this car absent of bluetooth–
protecting me and you
 
or maybe you're angry–
having a bad day
I pass your way
through your veins runs hate
so I become your play
 
I'm just like you‒
generation after generation
passed through
without obligations
to changing the view
 
–it all seems like voodoo
we both–
not really having a clue
‒taking it upon ourselves
get off that dusty shelf
change the view
so our kids
won't suffer too
 
maybe I do have a gun
–anger raging in stun
do you see inside of me
my hard history
maybe my hand shakes
though you can't see
–you're so angry
not seeing what's at stake
 
maybe I did some drugs–
stopping the pain
keeping from going insane
but soothing I didn't gain
all looks like a game
emotions adding to more pain
 
then you come along
thinking I'm a thug
you want to cut me down‒
stump me like a bug
without knowing the deal at home
why I'm here–
a gun...all alone
 
maybe don't yell
talk...love–
let it swell
 
instead of jail–
lead my soul to help
without making me
hate myself
 
I, too, want peace
between you and me
 
maybe instead of arrogance‒
show understanding
compassion
 
I don't want a free ride
just a reason...inside
not to cry
 
I am tough
I've got muscles, tats
my life has been rough
–crazy and all that
it doesn't mean
I'm just stuff
to pluck
 
a handshake
a hug
 
–that just might be
enough
 
I'm a human being
I don't mean to sting
 
just a little bitter
please, your anger–
could you reconsider
 
look at me for me
God's† child
making my way...like you
through the miles
 
–the past is gone
this is now
together–
we can make it all
worth while
if we just remain calm–
approach each other
in mild
without death coming in fowl

(July 20, 2016)—You don’t have to read this. Ignore it. It’s okay. I’m used to it, but, like Mother Teresa, I won’t stop. It’s my choice. It’s your choice to ignore. I still choose to love you. I still choose to pray. I still choose to speak of God’s message in the voice that He gave to me. I still choose to hope that others will see truth and stop falling to lies and deceit…that, too, is a choice. I choose truth.

I was led to two works this morning in the Bible. One was 1 Chronicles 29:10-20 and the other Psalms 5. Both are excellent and enlightened my heart, but Psalms 5 really caught my attention the most.

Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray. In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning, I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation….

All around us, we seem to be forgetting what really matters. All of this mockery on Facebook and other parts of the internet seems to just keep going and going. Here, the author of Psalms 5 says to begin the day with asking…asking…for what we desire, then wait. God’s time is not our time. He doesn’t rush in and answer on demand. Sorry, He just doesn’t work that way.

…You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with You, the wicked cannot dwell. The arrogant cannot stand in Your presence; You hate all who do wrong. You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men, the Lord abhors….

God only wants love, but He gives us a choice. That’s true love…unconditional love…free-will. You have a choice. You can either love or hate. You can either do the right thing or play evil’s game. God doesn’t say if that man insults you, you have the right to shot him or kill him. The above passage says that—You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil—enough said.

…But I, by Your great mercy, will come into Your house; in reverence, will I bow down toward Your holy temple. Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies—make straight Your way before me….

When I read about house or temple (now this is just me), I think of self…what’s inside of me. I say this because I don’t ever feel God in a building. I feel Him inside of me. His temple for me is in my heart. So, I read, in this part of Psalms 5, that if I allow God into my heart, He will give me the strength to deal with those who bring evil my way. Does that make sense? You may disagree. That’s okay. That’s free-will. In my eyes, no building is going to come and give me strength, but God…inside of my heart..wow! how the strength comes. Think about that.

…Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with destruction. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongue they speak deceit. Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against You….

Psalm 5 is, basically, a prayer for protection of the righteous. I’ve looked up the meaning of righteous and there are many meanings. What defines a person as righteous is an individual thing. You can’t argue really with that.

There’s a prostitute that is spoken about in the Bible, then she became righteous in God’s eyes. How? She shielded some people, gave them a room to sleep for the night knowing that that simple act could have gotten her killed. She could have turned them away, but she didn’t. She went from a sinner to a righteous person in God’s eyes.

Today, (my opinion) if you’re not bleeding the exact man-definition of the Bible from your veins, then you don’t have a righteous bone in your body. I think that’s a bit of hypocrisy because that’s man’s judgment.

In the above passage, the writer is asking God to banish the evil, to take the evil out of their life. In today’s world, this is an every-day prayer. Instead of us doing the banishing, we should ask God. He directs the path. Instead of carrying around hate, we are told (and it works by the way) to give it to God. Let Him deal with it.

…But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You. For surely, O Lord, You bless the righteous; You surround them with Your favor as with a shield….

So here, in the same breath, he’s asking for God to protect those who do right. That’s love, if you didn’t get that. I have this page in my Bible paper clipped. It’s been that way for about five years now. There’s reasons for everything.

Psalm 5 has become very important when you look at all that is happening around us in the political world and in our communities. The spread of hate through constant aggravation, of constant history reminding, of constant hocus-pocus…watching from the sidelines, it’s all just a show to breed evil. People are getting killed. People are dying. People are pointing fingers…judging. The truth hurts. I felt that anger. I pointed fingers.

I have over six books that tell my story through the darkness…a lot of it I’m not proud of, but it all led me to God, to learning how to forgive myself and others who hurt me. It all led me to understand what God wanted of me and how to read the words He sent to us.

You have to let go the hate and anger in your own heart, and then you have to stop breeding it. Hate breeds hate. Love breeds love. It is that simple. You may question my knowledge here. I don’t care. Here’s the facts: I grew up in South Louisiana. I went to school at Assumption High…go Mighty Mustangs. I ran track for two years. The student-body relationship…from my eyes…we were all just human beings trying to get the hell out of high school, but enjoying every moment we could…together! I joined the Army. For over 4 months, eight women shared a room with me…one white, one Cajun, French, Indian, Irish (that would be me), the rest of color.

I went to Germany where I worked with the MPs…we didn’t see color there either…we partied, had fun, complained, bitched, prayed, laughed, worked, trained, experienced a war…together. My best friend whom I’m sharing my life with…he’s of color…like me all mixed in race.

We have our differences in views, in ways…took a while to get used to living together, but we know how to make each other smile. Color, race…does not matter. Why should it? All of this above led to ‘Hands to Hold’ this morning.

Why are you still seeing differences? Why are you still holding grudges about things that happened so long ago that wasn’t in our control? We all know that if something like that happened today, we wouldn’t tolerate it. So, why breed the hate of it now?

Things need to change. Continuing to carry these burdens on our shoulders is doing one thing and one thing only: Leaving God out of the equation. God’s time is not ours. Our ancestors leaned on God heavily. God answered them. They had to suffer first. Do you ever think that God was testing them? I believe that. I think they passed. Do you? We are free because of their faith.

Jesus suffered. Do you fully understand just how bad He suffered. They whipped Him until the flesh fell from His body! He did that for us.In turn, our ancestors suffered for us, too. They gained for us the right of passage to freedom! We are all children of God.

There is evil. It’s talked about in the Bible over and over. There are false prophets. That is talked about over and over in the Bible as well. I was told years ago to pick my fights that are worth fighting…the rest just walk away. Pride, ego, lust, greed, gluttony…read about the Seven Deadly Sins. Learn them. Avoid them.

In the end, it’s you and God…all else won’t matter. That’s just fact…all those marks on your heart…you will have to answer to them one day and there will be no court of law, there will be no guns, no home-boys or fellow cops to help you with the answers…it will be just you. What will your answers be? A point to keep in mind: God already knows.

Can you turn it around like that prostitute in the Bible? It’s also helpful to acknowledge that all those whom Jesus asked to follow Him: A lot of them led unrighteous lives. God is forgiving…He truly is. Love the skin you’re in…you are worth it minus the color.

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Author: k. e. leger

I'm a writer.

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