I’m not one for religious symbolism but the more I hear about foreign involvement in our democratic election system, I keep thinking of a song I used to hear in church Sunday mornings. I was a kid back then.
Everybody knows Baby boomer children couldn’t say. “Mom, Dad I’m not going to church. It’s Sunday morning. I think I just sit this visit out. I don’t like how that old guy wearing that long robe talks to us. He’s always screaming about devils and doing bad stuff from that platform he stands on. You and Dad might like him; but he scares the mess out of me. Today, I’ll just sit home and do something that makes me happy. Watching Sunday morning cartoons makes me happy and so I’ll be doing that today, okay? I’ll see you both when you get back from church if I’m not napping, right?”
No way was that going to fly with my parents back then. In the only thing flying, would be my butt into next week. That would be after I was released from the children’s ward of the hospital, my father’s opened can of whup my backside sent me.
But I digress.
There’s a line an old gospel song from when Black folks were enslaved in America, I remember hearing at my parents’ church. It mentions something about “Wading in the water, children wade.” Then the song says one of the most meaningful stanzas, “God’s gonna trouble the waters.” The song goes on to describe who goes in the water. A girl in a dressed in red, goes into the water. I thought it first meant a sinner because red usually represents sin. But the song identifies the girl in red as the child of Moses. Another girl wearing white goes into the water. She’s a child of the Israelites. I interpret that to mean African American enslaved folks. And a final girl wearing blue also goes into the water. She’s a child coming through, which I believe meant the girl of the future made in through the troubled waters to the other side.
Now listening to the song, I can’t help but wonder if the song was a prediction for all of us living here in America. That the colors of the dresses the children wore represent the red white and blue of our flag. That fact the children are all girls and America is often thought of as female says to me several things. America will go and is going through troubled waters just as escaped enslaved folks did. Parts of America may not survive once again just like some enslaved folks who drown in the troubled waters. But importantly, most America will survive the swim in troubled waters and reach the other shore stronger and better for the struggle.
Remember to RESIST, ENLIST, INSIST, & PERSIST.
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