Black man rage: A Poem

I’ve been experiencing much grief following the death of George Floyd and the looting and rioting that has plagued cities across this country. I could only find one way to express that grief through my writing. I wrote this poem as a reflection piece to help me articulate what I was seeing and feeling.

Two black boys playing with the trash thrown out of the house

Taking apart a broken chair saying, “Hulk Smash!”

Young black boy playing on the porch with his dogs

While music in the car next to him blasts Nipsey Hussle

Three black children on the playground across the town

Running and screaming not fearing anything or anyone around

One black man on the ground telling his captors I can’t breathe

barely making a sound

More black men gathering around enjoying life in quarantine’s vault

Fearing nothing now until cops roll up and everything comes to a halt.

One elderly black man tending the garden in the yard of the home he’s lived in for years

Raised his children in community without fear

Now seeing scorned earth for blocks where life was once good

Hope all gone has deflated the neighborhood

Streets torn apart not by cops but by black brothers and sisters with ricocheting gun shots

One black man walking his dog in the neighborhood

Vexing less melanated citizens fearing he’s up to no good

His presence evokes fear and threats to others simply

Though he makes no noise or scene he is simply being seen

They avoid him like the flu desperately trying to get away

But he resolves that for his children’s future, it’s a price he’s willing to pay

Yes, people say Black Lives Matter

 but we’re seeing in real time how quickly that black life can shatter

Into a million pieces of brokenness and breaking hope of generations past

Black man forced to be silent

Because he knows if he speaks too loud or too bold he’ll incite a riot

Too many black men and women caged in a cell

Cause a systemically unjust society condemned them to hell

With the same blindness of justice refusing them bail

Let them rot cause they’re better safe where they are

which makes us safe from them

The existential quarantine against the man whose blackness forces him to shelter in place

To stay in his lane and not run the race of freedom..don’t breathe just lie in state

Breathe or not its their own fault some say

The pain he sees and feels replacing the pleasure of a life promised to be lived

Being a black man in a fair-weather world

Trying to make a dollar every day makes you wanna holler

Rage against the machine as its raging against you

Copyright June 2, 2020  Lorenzo T. Neal

My Covid 19 Reflection

My Moment to share my reflection from the last several months

It has been a minute since I have written anything on this page and although I have had many thoughts that have been put to paper, they have not made the cut to publish. Each day of this pandemic and sheltering in place has been challenging for the entire world. Although we have history on our side regarding humans surviving major viral epidemics, there is for us today a more intense sense of uncertainty, unrest, and impatience for this to come to an end soon. Countries around the world are seeing people protest their government’s decision to actualize shelter in place orders. In the US, leaders in some faith communities have been openly defying orders against large gatherings for religious and non-religious purposes and even bringing lawsuits against their state leaders citing the First Amendment right to assemble and freedom of religion. It has also sparked intense political actions with the hopes of one side beating the other with propaganda for or against more government spending and fully opening the country before an economic collapse happens.

On a more personal note, it has made me more grateful for each breath I take and each day I am afforded to live. Hearing of the deaths of acquaintances, friends, loved ones from the COVID-19 virus and the thousands of others who have contracted the virus and are fighting for their lives or have recovered has certainly made life more sobering. The biggest challenge for me has been making the adjustment of being a virtual pastor. While doing video and teleconferencing  is nothing new to me, virtual preaching has certainly been different. I was fortunate to have begun the process of live streaming services some time ago, I am one of those pastors who understood the future of those services but was unprepared to have to begin it under such conditions. The congregation I have been blessed and privileged to under shepherd is thriving and even growing despite not meeting in person. They certainly inspire me to continue studying to show myself approved as an unashamed workman of Christ.

I am certain that historians will look back upon this moment in time and mention the tenacity of the people in the world amid a global pandemic. Even after we are back to some sense of normalcy, it is still my goal and obligation to be an empowering and liberating voice of justice for those who are in need of hearing it. It is my goal and obligation to continue serving this present age my calling to fulfill.

Forging Ministry Partnerships

Today I was honored to have The Right Rev. Dr. John Adiema, Bishop of the Rorya Diocese of the Anglican Church in Tanzania and Dr. Robert W Kisusu, Professor at Kowak Theological College in Tarime-Mara, Tanzania share in the noon Bible study at New Bethel. Bishop Adiema is committed to serving his diocese and empowering them to serve this present age. Both of these men of God are building partnerships to bring greater resources to the rural areas of Tanzania and I and my church family are joining with them in this effort. It’s my prayer that their work will be successful.

A Chaplain on How to Talk About the Right to Die and Death With Patients — TIME

Martha Kay Nelson has had a long career in hospice work. Rather than choosing hospice work, she believes hospice work chose her. Her training was at Harvard Divinity School. She did a yearlong internship as a hospice chaplain during her graduate work. The year after she graduated, she managed to combine her career as a…

A Chaplain on How to Talk About the Right to Die and Death With Patients — TIME

A Poem for the New Year

Another year is dawning and we’re so grateful to be here

Though many loved ones have left us God has caused us to persevere

Through dangers seen and unseen, we’ve traveled through the days

We’ve fought hard life’s battles empowered by God’s grace

We’ll see another year of mercies, of service, God’s faithfulness and praise

We’ll rise in mind and soul and strength to help each other be present

And believe that change is possible as another year dawns for us

We’ll quench the fiery darts of Satan’s bow and quell the roar of our loudest foe

We’ll strive for excellence and achieve the heights no one thought to believe

Another decade is dawning, as swift as time transitions

We dare to accept the challenges knowing not what lies ahead

We’ll walk by faith and not by sight assured that God will keep us right

With liberating freedom filling our soul and

the light of God’s knowledge in our sight

We’ll press unselfishly ahead above the noise of human’s selfish strife

A new decade is upon us. New opportunities to do greater things

Serving our present age with haste our mission to fulfil

With grateful hearts in this new year and decade, we’ll do our master’s will

Black Christian Leaders and Influencers Who Died in 2019 — BCNN1 WP

Rev. Cameron M. Alexander The Rev. Cameron Madison Alexander, who spent more than four decades in the pulpit of Atlanta’s Antioch Baptist Church North, has died. He was 86. His daughter, Maria Hunter, confirmed his death after a brief illness. “He was the most loving, caring and dedicated,” she said. “He loved the Lord and spent […]

Black Christian Leaders and Influencers Who Died in 2019 — BCNN1 WP