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Speaking Your Truth to Power
By Evelyn M. Bingham
SUN COLUMNIST & POET
We have heard the phrase, Speaking Truth to Power, a lot in recent months.
Although the phrase is not new, you may
have wondered what it meant or its origin. The Quakers used the term during the mid 1950 s,
which was a call for the United States to stand
firm against fascism and other forms of
Speaking truth to power means believing
deeply in what you say and fighting everyday to have that heard. It may not be popular, it means
taking a risk, it means standing for something. Such was the case with our brave leaders speaking out for justice during the early Civil Rights era, the student protests and sit-ins and the bus boycotts and the voting rights campaigns. Another example more recently, was the Women's, or Peoples March in Washington D.C., immediately following the Trump inauguration, which sparked other spontaneous protests across our country and the world of people insisting that their voices and their truths be heard and be responded to!
To speak truth to power, means speaking what we believe to be true to someone in authority who might take it as a criticism or be offended and who has the power to punish us in some way. One prime example of this, was Jesus, speaking the ultimate truth to power before his trial and his crucifixion. More recently, we have seen this scenario play out many times since the Trump presidency, with the leader of our country behaving like a spoiled preschooler who cringes and fights back when he perceives himself being criticized or disrespected or disliked.
What would make us afraid or reluctant to speak up or to speak our minds? Fear of authority is one of them (except when confronted by a two year toddler, who in convincing defiance, is speaking in toddler ease, unafraid of the parent in authority!) Fear comes from the power difference between ourselves and the other person. We may feel, real or perceived, that we have less power than them, which causes fear. But, as David Gurteen, of the Knowledge Cafe, states there are many forms of powder difference - seniority, gender, education, class articulateness, accent, race, nationality, dress, financial etc.
We all have many opportunities to speak our truths to power, but it is often the combined voices or actions which forms the power to overcome injustice, ignorance, inequity and overall inequality to the powers that be. Some people feel safer or more empowered through anonymity. Our vote gives us a powerful voice, which carries a heavy weight, as does our letters and calls to ’ our elected officials. Our active participation in the NAACP, AARP. and like organizations are powerful and effective tools for social change. Whenever possible, we should seek to be an agent change, a voice for the voiceless, and an army of one. When combined with the strength of others who share the same beliefs, we can defeat any negative powers, when armed with our combined weapons of LOVE!
By Evangelist Barbara Colbert
It’s really not unusual to dream about the past. It
is, however, not a good thing to dwell, on the past.
Yet, Joel 2:28 tells us that “your old men shall
dream dreams, your young men shall have
When I was young, I didn't quite understand the
meaning of this prophetic word, probably because I myself was a visionary, yet untamed. Now, as I’ve grown older, I seem to have molded right into those Words. These years, dreams never escape
me, and I’ve come to understand that visions and
dreams are God's way of facilitating the work of
redemption of mankind. Through dreams, the
seasoned veteran shall have the knowledge to navigate and stabilize the passionate energy of the fervent visionary. Visions and dreams: the means to accomplish God’s divine Will.
The stifling hot July sun brought with it a spirit of weariness to me. Though I had slept the night, I had not rested, and I needed to understand why. Shaking loose the residue of a night traveling back into the past, I realized how most every night, my dreams never failed to take me on a journey where I sojourn with loved ones that have now departed, or those who were once friends but whose current whereabouts have long escaped my knowledge. In my reveries, the dead are back to life and doing well, and we’re all together again with life just as it was before. I often awaken from these dreams in a state of wistfulness, missing what was, and wishing I could have changed some things. But worst of all, my spirit cries out to me, that God is not pleased with this particular manner of dreaming, and that the adversary will take anything that God meant for good, and turn it around for evil.
I have always been a visionary. God has given the vision, made the way, and ordained the manifestation of it all, useful for His glory. Even still, He reminds me that his Word says that “young” men will have visions, and “old” men will dream dreams. So be it then. I’ve had my visions. I shall now transition to dreams. With this revelation, my soul enlightened. I understood that just as my visions had to be honed and fashioned by God for His use and purpose; so must my dreams be reformed, refined, and refashioned for God’s use and purpose. Melancholy excursions to the past, only serve to detour from the future. As Jesus once said, “ . . . let the dead bury the dead.”
Suddenly, this summer sun wasn't so sweltering. The warmth of God’s Word radiated within my heart, releasing me from the weight of nocturnal restlessness. Somehow, deep in my spirit, I am now assured that I shall dream dreams that will reveal wisdom and knowledge. Dreams that I may awaken from and then impart into the spirits of others, as guideposts and stabilizers. While the young shall envision, the old shall guide them along, decent and in order.
So, I raised up from my bed, and as the song says, “. . . the summer wind, came blowing in from across the sea.” God breathed new life into me this morning. It came like a soft windstorm in the light of day, leaving a sparkling trail of dewdrops gleaming with hope and expectation. I now know without a doubt that while dreams unbridled may seek to distract us from the future, God has already proclaimed the inhabitation of our hearts. He will not be removed for He reigns supreme - even in our dreams!!