Dear Ancestor

20181120_133732I saw your image in one of the best museums in the world.  You didn’t look happy, but I was happy to see you.  I am sure your world had been turned upside down because you wouldn’t even look up in your pose.  It is as if you said I will do this job but I won’t be proud. I won’t show you how much this has hurt me.

He painted your image fully dressed standing behind a table surrounded by your work utensils, bowls and pitchers. Some title this image the Kitchen Scene, not even admitting that there is a person in it, while others call it the Kitchen Maid, or La Mulata, La Cocinera. They should call it, You Stole My Life Now You Want Me To Cook

It was 1618 and you had probably been ripped from your home and all you knew. You wondered if you would ever see your family or homeland again. You probably didn’t.

I am grateful that you existed and fought that end of the battle for me. I will tell your stories and remind our people of the sacrifice you made.

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And I thank God for you and that He had someone paint you to remind us of all you missed out on like having your family near. Like when you are having a bad day at work and there is no one to complain to. Like being able to quit your job and go work for someone who respects you. Like being able to do what you were created to do. The simple things we take for granted and consider them a right when they are really a gift from God.

When the man was painting your image, it was probably irritating, but it left a beacon of light for us 400 years later.  I am grateful.

 

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For One Reason

you go into a business but figure out later that something different was planned.  Artist go into entertainment to entertain people, but later see that their messages impact peoples lives. Artist like Sammy Davis Jr have carved out legacies that impact generations.  They did more than entertained.  They asked the questions we all needed to ask.

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I Knew What I Wanted To Be When I Was 10

I knew what I wanted to be when I was 15. I knew what I wanted to be when I was 21. I knew what I wanted to be when I was 25.

None of those things were the same thing.  I ended up doing those things and many more.  Let me be honest. I have had a great deal of fun, but seldom have found satisfaction.  Many times we do things in hope that it will satisfy us, but usually end up void. After many years of struggling and finding new things to do, I found the remedy for it all.  One of the most powerful thing I learned is Psalms 32:8.

I often think about Abraham leaving his family and going with God. I am sure it was a frightening proposition to go face the unknown. Some of the places God has taken me have been cooler than anything I could imagine, and some of the places have been “What the heck?” One of the first things I learned about God was He is more interested in my character than my comfort. I mean I started to learn that if I was too comfortable,  what I was doing wasn’t from God.

When God is your guide, He often takes you along the scenic route.  I don’t ever remember getting anywhere quick or in my timing.  I mean somethings have taken decades to get to, but He is faithful.  There are also detours along the way.  If you do not stay connected to God these detours will slay you. You will think God has lost his mind or doesn’t plan to do good for you.  Sometimes we get in our own way, like Sarah giving her handmaid to her husband to make a child.  I got in my own way so many times, God stopped telling me what was going to happen. He just led me. I learned to shut up and follow.

You have to trust Him that the path He takes you on is the best path for you.  I admit there were times I would ask “What are you doing? This is crazy, God!” I have had some of the craziest jobs, but I can see how each experience has taught me more about the Creator of the Universe.  Sometimes people get stuck because they have not learned what God needs them to learn.   I am reminded that David spent 16 years learning how to shepherd all the crazy odd people before he became king over the entire nation. I have to remind myself that God created me and knows me well. This means He knows what I need and when I am able to learn it.

Another thing I learned about the Father is that He always puts me in a situation where I need Him. I can’t do it without Him. But the beautiful thing about this is that it will stretch you beyond your limits.  You will learn about yourself and the God who created you.  It will take you in new directions. He turned one of my deepest fears into something I love dearly.  Only a God who knows you well can do that.

I hope you will stop faking it and focus on what seed God has placed in your heart. Allow Him to take you on an adventure that will make your life satisfying.  As my sister says,  You only have a few moments left on earth, use them on your mission. Stop wasting time trying to buy a new home, car or vacation. Connect with your purpose for life and that will be more than you can even imagine.  Trust the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)