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  • Writer's pictureThe Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples

Love And Tomorrow | June 25, 2023 Rev. Dr. Dorsey Blake

What a revelation they were and are, two not quite one year graced our sacred dwelling last Sunday. Ikeme Isang and Nicholas Grosfoguel, fresh emanations of the Divine, captured my heart and vision. They live in the present welcoming the future. Their eyes, countenances, and joy lifted me, lighting up my life to own and massage the passing of my great comrade Gus Newport. Yes, life goes on in endless song how can I help from singing? They are melodious expressions against the dissonance of our world and carry within the possibilities of being saviors of the world, agents of a brighter tomorrow.

Listen to the wisdom of Kahlil Gibran.

On Children

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children. And he said: Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Individuals in the Photo: Ikeme and Nicolas star with the supporting cast:

Mallory and Moses, Nadia and Felix.

Ikeme and Nicolas briefly led us beyond the vicissitudes of our world. Remembering those brief flights into ecstasy will sustain us in the muck. Indeed, “Love will guide us and will lead the way,” as the hymn affirms. The hymn also insists that we can change the world with our love.

Love is about relationships as is creation. We are our best selves when we genuinely love. When we love Nicolas and Ikeme, we are changed. Our bodies, minds, and spirits are allured into precious union with them. Our own vulnerability meshes with theirs. Our souls rest in and with each other, rendering us hopeful and unafraid. I love James Weldon Johnson’s creation story. Only a portion of which I will post here.

And God stepped out on space, And he looked around and said: I'm lonely— I'll make me a world.

. . .

Then God walked around, And God looked around On all that he had made. He looked at his sun, And he looked at his moon, And he looked at his little stars; He looked on his world With all its living things, And God said: I'm lonely still.

Then God sat down— On the side of a hill where he could think; By a deep, wide river he sat down; With his head in his hands, God thought and thought, Till he thought: I'll make me a man!

Up from the bed of the river God scooped the clay; And by the bank of the river He kneeled him down; And there the great God Almighty Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky, Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night, Who rounded the earth in the middle of his hand; This great God, Like a mammy bending over her baby, Kneeled down in the dust Toiling over a lump of clay Till he shaped it in is his own image;

Then into it he blew the breath of life, And man became a living soul. Amen. Amen.

That is a beautiful poetic expression of one of the Biblical accounts of creation. Relationship is key: relationship of swimming and flying things, earth and sky, light and darkness, stars and moon, human and nonhuman, creature and Creator, the Cosmic web.

I love how Howard Thurman as a child was in love with creation.

Nightfall was meaningful to my childhood, for the night was more than a companion. It was a presence, an articulate climate. There was something about the night that seemed to cover my spirit like a gentle blanket. …The night had its own language. Sometimes, the night seemed to have movement in it, as if it were a great ocean wave. Other times, it was deathly still, no rhythm, no movement. As such times I could hear the night think, and feel the night feel. This comforted me and I found myself wishing that night would hurry and come, for under its cover, my mind would roam. I felt embraced, enveloped, held secure. In some fantastic way, the night belonged to me.

This is eros, intimate, romantic love. Thurman would later state that this intimacy, the mystical reality, and this being held by life in communion should be our common experience. Anything in our person or our social order that prevents this unity was against life, against God, and could not stand. This was the incubator for his search for common ground and, therefore, his commitment to social transformation and authentic being. The balm for the hounds of hell -- fear, deception, and hate—that dog the footsteps of the disinherited is love.

When officiating at weddings, I have frequently used Thurman’s insight: Love has no awareness of merit or demerit; it has no scale... Love loves; this is its nature.

Buddhist scholar and activist, Dr. Joanna Macy, invites us to see a spiritual path within with the unlovingness of human arrogance.

Adrienne Maree Brown, author of Emergent Strategy makes it clear that love is not static but dynamic.

Together we must move like waves. Have you observed the ocean? The waves are not the same over and over – each one is unique and responsive. The goal is not to repeat each other’s motion, but to respond in whatever way feels right in your body. The waves we create are both continuous and a one-time occurrence. We must notice what it takes to respond well. How it feels to be in a body, in a whole–separate, aligned, cohesive. Critically connected.

I would call our work to change the world “science fictional behavior – being concerned with the way our actions and beliefs now, today, will shape the future, tomorrow, the next generations.

We are excited by what we can create, we believe it is possible to create the next world.

We believe.

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