By April McQueen
I come into the sense of myself in the late-night hours. They wait for me, and I come.
It is a call and response moment like in the old-time Black churches way down South that soothed the souls of my ancestors and held them together for another week, strong in the struggle. It is how they came up. It is what helped them to get along. Day. By. Day. Being anchored in their faith was as normal and necessary as breathing. But there are different kinds of breath: free and clear; relieved; meditative or measured; scared and anxious; or filled with the peace of God that surpasses all understanding…survival once again.
If steady and troubled are two opposite extremes, then living in the day to day requires this life-saving float, freestyle stroke, and ongoing movement through social waves. Progress forward is towards a goal for the generations to come to have it better than they did, to make it further than they did, but never to forget who they were or where they came from when they did. Blessed.
I call out, “God is good…” and the expected response returns from those who know, “All the time”. There is a second part to this greeting. It is a chance to confirm faith between believers. The exchanged proclamation continues with, “And all the time…”, and concludes with the response from the other, “God is good”, which is really a beginning, a point of departure, for a deep truth. It affirms the God that exists: in your secret places; in your sticky sin; in your distance, both physical and figurative; and in the heartbeat of who you are.