As I read the accounts of the history of my ancestors I can’t help but cry tears of blood and sweat. To think of the pain and suffering they endured is unimaginable. Like you and me, these were human beings created by God. They were treated worse than farm animals. They were shackled, raped, scorned, burned, hung, whipped, or forced to live and work as an animal with no human rights. They were ripped from their native land and sold as chattel property to the evil slave traders. God only knows their pain and suffering. Who will pay the debt for such ungodly sins? This is holy unforgivable.
When this epic slave trade started my ancestors were also torn from the gods they relied upon because their lives and everything about them was stitched into the land they inhabited. They lost everything that made them human beings. They knew not where else to turn. They dare not turn to the god of their oppressors in the strange foreign land they were taken. Whatever gods there were the ones that allowed them to be abused. They were essentially lost souls without a god to turn to for comfort. Their only hope was to attempt to escape under the threat of certain death.
I force myself to study this painful history because my ancestors should be remembered and recognized as human beings who were apparently lost to a world of torture and misery. They lived complete lives of suffering while crying tears of blood and sweat. As a living heir, an African American who has been taught to believe in the God of the Bible, I am torn between the love that God says that we should have for others and the hate my heart cannot escape for those who caused my ancestors to suffer. Where is the justice? Where was the hope for them? Is there anything that would suffice as retribution for their suffering over hundreds of years? I ask God for guidance?
I can only force myself to muzzle the hate and anger I feel for whatever power that allowed such things to happen. Is heaven a just reward? Will any of them see the promised heaven they knew nothing about? They died with hate-filled hearts in every ounce of their being because of the injustice they endured, many for an entire lifetime. Will they receive the scorn of God for allowing hate to corrupt their souls? To suffer and die on earth only to suffer and be condemned for the sin of hate and anger seems to be as unjust as it gets. Yet as an heir I must muzzle what my heart is feeling for my people. If I allow anger to consume me then evil overcomes my soul, along with the countless heirs of slaves that can’t seem to shake the feeling of injustice.
What balances the scale? Was there something so evil in the souls of my people that caused them to be born in such a life? Dare I ask my God? Dare I complain about fairness and justice? Dare I allow my anger to attack the morsel of faith that remains in me?
The God that I pray to today was taught to my elders by the ones that captured and tortured our ancestors. They taught us that to refuse them was analogous with refusing God, which would further punish them in this life. They taught us that to run away or attempt to escape would lead to torture by hanging, beating, mutilation or other forms of ungodly punishment. They instilled fear and attempted to take away any future hope.
For centuries African Americans endured the denial of their Godly rights along with untold measures of suffering through many generations. We still bare the callouses in the chambers of our hearts. Such hidden scars were caused by a feeling of hopelessness that still remains like the aftermath of a ferocious storm. However, such suffering is not exclusive to my ancestors. Unimaginable atrocities have been happening throughout the history of mankind who has proven himself to be very wicked in nature. Certainly not all people, but our very nature allows us to choose to be righteous people or not. It appears the easier road is the one most frequented. The low road is the most popular. Our nature seems to lean downward, which leaves the option of impropriety. If you leave enough rope many will choke themselves. You would hope that would apply only to our mischievous acts and deeds, but certainly not at the core of our souls. Could man be inheritably evil? O God I pray not!
As I try to find a justification, meaning, or understanding to substantiate the acts mankind has done and is willing to do to others, logic and reasoning cannot help me. Even if I attempt to apply the wisdom that comes from God something still does not appear to even the slate. So what am I to make of ungodly evils and the insurmountable amount of suffering caused by the hands of man? Am I to blame my God for allowing such things to happen and continue to happen? Will I allow such thoughts to corrupt my soul and slowly erode my weak faith?
I have a choice. I can place my faith and trust in God that has seen all that I have seen, and more, since the beginning of time. I could attempt to opine my rationale upon things that are beyond my mental comprehension? Or ultimately I could just leave it all in God’s most capable hands in spite of how my human analogies otherwise compel me. I choose to believe in the Almighty power of God and leave it all in His capable hands. As a mere mortal, I have compassion for all who have suffered at the hands of evil man. Can you begin to imagine what God has in store for what has been done to His creations?
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’… ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
Vengeance belongs to me alone says the Lord.
Vengeance is Mine, and recompense;
Their foot shall slip in due time;
For the day of their calamity is at hand,
And the things to come hasten upon them.’
No matter what has happened and what is to come, I choose God. I dare not allow my enemy, nor my mind to take me down into the pits of hell when my God says; I got this! Let not your mortal mind lead you astray, ‘your enemy’s foot shall slip in due time.’ No mind can possibly conceive what God has in store for those who abused even the least amongst us. Therefore, I relent to Almighty God… Selah!