"To believe with all our heart in our people,
our parents, our teachers. our leaders, and the
righteousness and victory of our struggle."
--The Seventh Nguzo Saba principle
"The language of faith is crucial because it
affords human beings the privilege of intimacy
with the ultimate." --Michael Eric Dyson
Listen up. When you're in a crisis, oftentimes you don't act normal. Your mind is going through the mental process of adjusting to the crisis ( lesson 1). Your body feels like every cell is wired, and a spark from one of those cells can set your entire body, house and home ablaze. But as you begin to come out on the other side, you begin to look for positives and not just the negatives (lesson 3), and you begin to gain a greater distance from it all so that you not only better understand and move forward, but indeed become a wiser and, in a way, a better person. This about the time that you are looking at no longer drinking too much alcohol or too many pills; no longer taking risks with your body and life by driving while drinking or having unprotected sex or getting into unnecessary arguments.
It's about this time that you begin to feel that you need to stop thinking only of yourself-- you need something to keep you from venturing farther out into troubled waters, and some value to keep you from going under next time. That something is family and friends (lesson 4), and that value is faith. The daddy says you got to have you some faith.
You've heard it said many times: "You got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything." This saying suggest that you need to believe in something and have faith that it's true. And you've probably heard that you can't live on faith, but, then again, you can't survive too long without it. That's why the daddy likes it when English rocker George Michael gets all into it and sounds so adamant, when he sings "You gotta have faith!"
Faith is nothing more than your conviction that something is true. Some say whether you need to have it is debatable. What is not to debatable is that that having it helps you to better deal with a crisis: that death in the family, the lost job, the lost love, the new-found disease, the unwanted pregnancy, divorce, etc. But Michael wasn't the only one to sing the praises of faith.
Mother Theresa taught nuns to "do little things with love" and to have faith that those little things would bare fruit in the end. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.-- despite being stabbed , arrested more than 33 times, beaten by white mobs and police, wiretapped by FBI (who tried to get him to commit suicide), receiving death threats constantly-- never wavered in his faith that the United States would become a just society, nor in his faith in those of us left behind to make his undying faith a living reality for all Americans. Small wonder, then, that he would die in support of striking garbage workers or that he would make this prophetic statement of faith at a church just before he died:
"I may not get there with you. But we, as a people, will get to the promise land."
If Mother Theresa can role model the power of faith by doing the "little things" like washing the feet of the poor in India, if Dr. King can demonstrate the power of faith by dying for garbage workers in Memphis, maybe you can demonstrate the power of faith by standing up family, friends, community, and, above all, yourself. where you live.
Now, the daddy's got a question for you: What do you believe in with all your heart? What do you stand for?