“… I am weak, but He is strong.”
I learned this song in vacation Bible School when I was a child hungry and finding refuge in the Church.
I didn’t understand it then.
I just sang the words so I could get the free lunch.
I have never thought of myself as strong.
In truth, I’m mostly scared.
I fear not fulfilling God’s will for my life.
(Hear me out.)
My life is too extreme for it not to be useful to humanity.
And yet, in the silence of my solitude, I worry: can I truly pull off what God has shown me in my mind?
I have been trained in the violence infested and unforgiving trenches of the Streets…
I’ve been educated at some of the most prestigious academic institutions in the America, if not the world…
I’ve shared meals with rats and roaches in condemned Baltimore buildings…
I have done all my God has asked of me, and yet, it hasn’t been enough to thank God for keeping me alive.
I am not strong.
I don’t have the courage nor confidence of the Shepard boy who knew how to sling rocks that took down a giant.
I can hear my 1920s gangsta God, sporting a Fedora, sipping on aged cognac, smoking a hand-rolled Cuban cigar, chucking at my fears.
“Bae” that’s God’s pet name for me, “Your strength is not your courage or confidence.”
“Your strength,” My God takes a slow sip, which he savors before finishing His thought, “is that you are brave.”
I sit in silence as Spirit, looking like Southern Comfort on a Sunday afternoon, wraps her loving arms around me and covers my eyes.
In the beauty of Her darkness…
I let go.
I free fall backwards, heels over head, through an emotional and energetic wasteland of
I see a litany of violence, losses, and betrayals from my past.
After each one healed, I chose to live again.
I open my eyes to see the truth of me.
Strength shows up when I need it.
In the way that I need it.
When I refuse to surrender.
To the degree of the threat/attack is to the degree my strength arises from a deep place I can only access once provoked.
That deep place is where I surrender to God.
I refuse to surrender to the attack, but I humbly surrender to my God.
“…I am weak, but He is strong.”
The song makes sense now.
My strength is being brave enough to surrender my will to my God.