I believe, for every drop of rain that falls,
A flower grows…
I believe that somewhere in the darkest night,
A candle glows…
I believe for everyone who goes astray,
Someone will come, to show the way,
I believe, I believe…
Excerpt from I Believe, by Jeffrey Curtis Pence and Eliot Walker Sloan
This month I have pondered mightily the question of how to move through and beyond the tsunami of dark and violent occurrences that have washed over Chicago, my home town. I am forced to grip the reality that there is indigenous bias and inhumanity in my city, and that much of it is laser-trained on people of color. How do I stay sane when the dark wave rises and threatens to drown me and every bit of humanity that I possess? How can I dig deeper, and peer beyond uncaring images and callous spirit crushing actions? How can I reach through this abyss and scour my soul for that which I truly believe?
I desperately seek to avoid the endless body counts on every news channel, in most publications, on the radio and in-these-mean-streets. A part of me knows that in the “great somewhere” it’s all purposeful and ultimately all part of a larger orchestration. And yet, I find myself wavering and screaming in my head, “Lord I believe, please, please help my unbelief!”
I am grounded in my faith, and I-am-struggling to stand my ground! These days darkness is the default and if it’s challenging for a “seasoned” soul like mine, to remember that all this chaos is, in a larger cosmic sense, part of an intentional plan, what about our youth? How do we keep them and ourselves from slipping into darkness? From losing hope and self-destructing?
Fighting for my sanity has required detachment from network TV, avoiding most talk radio, and limiting social media consumption. And, while I am by no means, proficient in the practice of meditation, I take a crack at it every morning with the hope that one day I will completely enter the stillness and find those elusive moments of escape through serenity. Recently a centering thought that resonated with me was,
“We are all here to evolve spiritually.”
That phrase struck an emotional chord. Could the hopelessness and rage that I’ve been feeling be the Divine saying, “I’m giving you these challenges as tools to flex your spiritual muscles and pull yourself to another rung on the ladder of faith”?
I have struggled with anger and feelings of hopelessness and with discovering productive channels through which to take action. And to be very clear, recognizing soul growth coming at you doesn’t mean you accept the invitation.
It’s been hard remembering that “…somewhere in the darkest night, a candle glows…” and to allow that affirmation to lift me. The fundamental spiritual principles that I believe in work, and I just need to be observant.
Over the past several weeks Spirit caught my attention with a “light saber.” A concentrated beam of light powerful enough to conquer the darkness. You know, like in the Star Wars movie, only this saber came in the form of a delightful young woman, whose name I will withhold to protect her privacy. But to elaborate a bit, my hero, my beam of light, recently took a leave from her job, and traveled to Haiti, to adopt a little girl that is not only blind, but was born without eyes. This woman and her biological son are reminders that in this world populated by people who commit great acts of barbarism and evil, there are incredible, extraordinary, heroic humans.
I don’t know all of the details, nor do I need them. What I do know is that reading her regular Facebook posts have given me intravenous doses of encouragement and affirmed through ‘love in action’ that there is a divine balance. There exist unexcavated goodness that can, in an instant, outshine the darkness and give hope to those of us who care to bask in the light.
The message for me, and for anyone who chooses to accept it, is that as long as mankind evolves on this earth plane, there will be dark appearances. Furthermore, we are all, at some point in time, either knowingly or unknowingly a party to creating or perpetrating the darkness. And yet, we also have the opportunity to express the Divine, through the creation of and use of our own light sabers. We must evolve to the point where we use light to transform the darkness.
– Susan D. Peters
Susan D. Peters, aka, Ahnydah (ah-NIE-dah) Rahm, brings a wealth of experience gained as an expatriate living in West Africa. Her memoir Sweet Liberia, Lessons from the Coal Pot, received the Black Excellence Award for Non-Fiction from the African American Alliance of Chicago and the Mate E. Palmer award for Non-Fiction from the Illinois Press Women’s Association. Broken Dolls, Susan’s second book, represents her foray into the mystery market and is the first of a series featuring Detective Joi Sommers as its heroine. Her most recent publication is Stolen Rainbow, a short story focused on the post combat recovery of a beautiful marine captain after a devastating combat injury. Her work is featured in three anthologies, Baring It All, the Ins and Outs of Publishing, Signed, Sealed, Delivered … I’m Yours, a contemporary romance anthology, and The Anthology of the Illinois Woman’s Press Association. Buy her books online and at www.SusanDPeters.com.