On this third anniversary of our miraculous Newfoundland rescue dog, Luther’s, liberation from a hate-full puppy mill prison, I am pondering prophets. Two and four-footed ones. Perhaps you first met some in Sunday School, as I did. Amos and Micah. Isaiah and Jeremiah. Ezekiel and Joel.
Voices in my head that I did not quite understand, sounding somehow old and gruff no matter who was reading their words, rather like Walter Brueggemann when I first heard him teach through much younger ears!
And Dr. King, of course. Though I really don’t remember much before the night he was killed. We lived in Chicago and I was afraid.
And a way less old and gruff guy named Gary, who was my first church boss. He was, perhaps, ahead of the progressive curve in a small, rather 19th century-ish, southern town where he helped, a bit after I’d been there, to organize the near total boycott of a Klan parade, realizing that local leaders had to give the KKK a permit but nobody had to show up and watch.
And more recently, a whole tribe of women, joined by Red Thread and spattered in paint, putting empowered, I’d dare say prophetic, images of the divine feminine into a world filled with deep need and longing for their inspiration.
One of my new artist friends is a woman named Billie Brown who created Weeping Madonna #1 in 2019. The “series of six images depicts young mothers sorrowing over their newborn children as they contemplate the racism rampant in America today and how it may harm their children.”
Weeping Madonna is a sister in prophecy with my Bella Mama from 2018, sheltering immigrant children under the folds of her robed arms.
And then, to zig more than a bit, a tall, young challenger on Iron Chef America sporting a baseball sort of hat that read In Diversity We Trust. Bold words from a self-described Norwegian Japanese Black guy from Minneapolis named Justin Sutherland. (He won!)
I’m guessing you have some examples, too. I’d love to hear them!
For now, though, some prophetic words of wisdom from one of my girls.
Kenzie was 9 when she went with her mom to the 2017 Women’s March on D. C. Mostly they stood, for about five hours, because there were so many people that they couldn’t actually march. At one point, Kelly boosted Kenz up so she could see over the crowd and asked her where the people stopped. “The people don’t stop,” replied Kenzie. “They just keep going!”
We are the people! Or so say my gaggle of internal prophets who are more into questions than answers. Here’s their favorite:
If we believe what we say we believe, what, then, shall we do?
Only you can answer for you. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a couple of hints. Choose some candidates… local, state, national… who echo the long ago words of Mr. Jefferson and proclaim that we are all created equal. Then get involved.
(They don’t have to be the same folks I’ve chosen, but I wouldn’t mind if they were!)
March, in good shoes or in spirit, when you feel called. I marched on D.C. yesterday, in spirit and in connection with so many sisters.
Go check your mailbox for your 2020 ACLU membership card. Mine came this week! And, if you’re not a member yet, it’s easy. Just tell them Sue sent you.
Look deep for prophesy in the images around you. Which ones call out to you? What are they asking of you?
And join in creation. Words, paint, clay, buttons, soup, quilts, even babies. (Well, maybe grandbabies!)
We are the people. And we are partners in the future we dream.
p.s. Luther and Phoebe want you to know that you can reach our talented friend at firstname.lastname@example.org and there are new workshops coming soon!