Initially, I planned to use this letter as a platform to address what’s going on in society. I would comment on the police brutality. I would defend the cries for air, the pleas for breath, the petitions for equality, but God told me to talk to you, not around you, not about you, not through you, TO YOU.
I pray you feel my praises.
Let me start by saying, I love you. I love you like the dawn dew that quenches the thirst of every blade of grass-plentifully and full of provision.
I love you like the rest that comes following endless days, and sleepless nights-refreshingly
I love you like Sunday mornings- peacefully
I love you like the gentle kiss of the breeze- unseen, sometimes silently, but always felt.
I love you like the songs of freedom and salvation, eternally.
This is how I love you.
My dear Black man, you are strong. In your DNA lies the strength of thousands of men who watched their children be snatched and killed while their wives were raped and beaten. Some were stolen, some escaped, but all were affected and you were molded by them.
You were the Strange Fruit they sang about hanging from southern trees, and still your sweetness feeds us.
You have running through your veins the strength to fight. Even your weeping sends trembles down their spines. You have the strength to feel in a world that wants you numb. Find freedom in feeling. I’m sorry you have to be so strong, but I thank you for your strength.
You are resilient. Society has knocked you down, demonized you, animalized you, and painted you a threat. They have made a mockery of you. They have tried to terminate you. Still, you thrive. Still, you provide. Still, you exist. I’m sorry you have to be so resilient, but I thank you for your resiliency.
You are elegant. Yes, ELEGANT. Your presence stops people as you float across the room. They can’t quite figure out what of you is captivating, but I know it’s the beauty of your soul. It shines through. They fear the unknown, so they fear you. They judge the unknown, so they judge you. They kill the unknown, but as hard as they try- that beautiful soul will never die.
You are powerful. You could break and destroy all that has broken and destroyed you. You could tear from limb to limb all that has torn you. You could strangle. You could kill. But with those hands- those beautifully beaten hands- you hold our sons and daughters. You carry, so gently, your mothers’ burdens. You dance in slow motion, palm to waist. You take stretched out fingertips and go for long walks. You wipe tired tears. You tuck in. You cuddle. You caress. You comfort. You repair. You build. You heal. Thank God, your hands heal.
No matter where you go, no matter your position, no matter your possessions, you may be deemed worth fearing, but know that we see you. We see the gentle giant and we love him. Know that we hear you. We hear your supplication. We hear your pain. And we are near to you.
My sweet King, with the rising of each breath, I watch fear grow beneath your chest, and with every exhale- you become FEARLESS. Thank you for your fearlessness.
You are not an animal.
You are not a caricature.
You are not a monster.
You are not a threat.
You are tired.
You are meticulous.
You are determined.
You are valued.
YOU ARE NECESSARY.
I love you. We love you. Forever and always.
I’m bearing this burden with you. God sometimes has a strange way of healing the broken, but I trust His healing will come. You are His. You are kept. Yes, stand firm, but don’t stand for too long. Stop. Rest. Replenish. Feel. You will live.
Thank you for reading.
Feel free to leave a note of prayer requests, comments, or encouragement for the men reading.