in the book i just finished the 7th grade protagonist is a mexican immigrant. he struggles with english and struggles to fit in while his migrant family is constantly following the next crop. to get extra credit he is asked to memorize part of the declaration of independence’s preamble.
i instantly remembered my 7th grade class. i remembered my desk and how we were arranged in a square u lining the classroom. i remembered my teacher making us the same extra credit offer. and i remembered the song she played for us that day and how i still have the preamble memorized to that soulful tune.
that all men are created equal.
i keep thinking back to those words as i read my next book, nelson mandela’s long walk to freedom. it has sat on my bookcase for years calling to me. i regret that it has taken me so long to read.
last night it was really 1948. d.f. malan won the election with his national party, ushering in apartheid. it is heartbreaking to read a book knowing the outcome.
endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.
this week christian asked me to name examples of how i know god loves me. i was embarrassed that the question seemed hard. my mind went blank.
i know he loves me, but sometimes right now i allow sadness to swallow me up. for everything i can name that proves god’s love to me personally, there is the opposite that happened for someone else. that alternative can’t mean that there was less of god’s love flowing. rather, it is the struggle of this life.
“this is a world in which we are to prove ourselves. the lifetime of man is a day of trial, wherein we may prove to god, in our darkness, in our weakness, and where the enemy reigns, that we are our father’s friends.” –brigham young; president of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints 1847-1877
i have been a big tori amos fan since high school. this week i was surprised to hear one of her songs on kexp and the timing of those lyrics resonated within me. as she sings “god sometimes you just don’t come through” i understood what she meant, and yet, i know it’s not a failing on god’s part, but our expectation of him.
we can find god in our darkest times as well as our brightest moments. i’m sure mandiba knew that love with just as much surety on robben island as he does today.