Home: Are We There Yet?
This is home, as I peer out into the streets of a black history parade – with my family beside me that I haven’t seen in years. Oh, this is home. As the beads drop and the candy flies high in the sky and lands right into my little boys’ sun-kissed coily afro hair. As the line music plays and the black line dancers play their cupid shuffle. The black church float passes by and BOOM, I remember the words to songs sang years…years…and years ago. The words I long to know, but faint and to my soul it felt like…let…my…people…go.
What a dance we dance. Home why have you been so far, far away? Twisting and turning I almost lost you once, this time I’m holding on tight. I won’t let you go.
On this journey I’ve wondered, is this the home that I’m to meet?
What if there’s more? I can’t bare much more.
Are we there yet? Not yet? How much further are we?
When, oh when, will my wilderness journey end?
Hope deferred makes a heart fizzle out its longing. But, oh my sweet home, I long for it to be imbued with the sweet welcome home words from your lips, like a Madea’s voice on a Thanksgiving Day, singing the tune of “I’ll fly away”. Home, we’ve exchanged simple pleasantries, but I will again know your sweet embrace.
Home is a Matter of Identity
What and where is home?
While we commonly acknowledge home to be the geographical location of our dwelling, it is more deeply identified as a place where one experiences a sense of connection and belonging. This is not limited to physical life, but rather life in the place of one’s mental and emotional being. Could home, then, be a matter of my perspective and how I identify?
It’s Black History month, and while this is a month set aside to honor black history, I must always know who I am culturally, especially in a world that seeks to tell me who I am “not.”
My value cannot be derived from being perceived as palatable and token to other people.
I have to intentionally reject the notion of being a safe black person in order to experience that sense of belonging. Deeply rooted in this is the desire for acceptance. But, squashing my culture to fit the dominate culture was never God’s way.
There is a solidarity in the told and untold stories in black communities that can only be understood fully and deeply by those who are in it and live it daily.
We are deeply spiritual people,
We are expressive people,
We are artisans,
We are passionate in everything we do,
We tell it like it is,
We are bold,
We stand strong and rise resilient in the midst of adversity,
We are strong together and we are loyal,
We are unrelenting in the pursuit of what sets our souls on fire.
We are black people and that is not a happenstance.
We must teach our children who they are and the beauty of their identity, so that they know that they belong.
We know black history is seldom taught in schools, so we must pull our kids close and invest in their future. If you are raising little black boys and little black girls it is imperative that they know who they are. We don’t elevate our cultural identity over our identity in Christ, but we do acknowledge and partner with what God did when he created diverse people groups.
People all of ethnicities and cultural backgrounds, who together, weave the most beautiful tapestry, that is THE PICTURE of the kingdom of God.
The kingdom is diverse and the kingdom includes black.
Black theology matters.
Black church matters.
Black accomplishments matter.
Black kids matter.
Black perspectives matter.
More presently, Black History matters.
I am Home.
Kirstie is a freelance artisan whose heart is to impact her realm of influence with the gifts God has given her. She is a wife, mom, singer, songwriter, advocate for women and anyone experiencing injustice. She believes that the ministry of reconciliation is what her family is called to display. Kirstie is a graduate student at Wheaton College and hopes to use her experiences to train, equip and contend for revival in the next generation.