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The Crack of the Whip

When I was back in the states I found the mini series of “ROOTS”.This was the most watched series of that time even greater than “Gone with the Wind” and even “THE SUPERBOWL”. Over 35 years ago, hundreds of thousands of people sat down as families of every color and culture and for eight straight days followed the story of Alex Haley and his ancestors…begining with a young African boy named Kunte Kinte. I believe this series opened up my eyes and my heart to the brutality and ugliness of slavery. As an 11 year old being raised in a small white town sheltered from some of the realities in the world this story reached my heart more than I knew until the Lord brought me to a small community in Haiti named Mole St. Nicholas.

Last year I wrote a bit about Mardi Gras and how when we returned from Christmas ,back in the states, the season of Mardi Gras had begun. The first Sunday I was met with an interesting surprise as I walked home from church. There were 3 young men dressed from head to toe with white writing paper all over them and they were wearing scary masks. One was a devil, one a monster and then one was a cat (which wasn’t that scary:>) They each were carrying whips with them and cracking them as they came toward me. Now let me just tell you I knew nothing of this Mardi Gras craziness and so as far as I knew they were coming toward me to scare me or even crack me with the whip. As they drew closer something inside me (the Holy Spirit I know) began to tell me not to be afraid…to not fear. They were almost to me when I belted out a huge laugh…said hello and then, why I did this I don’t know…I raised my hands above my head and growled like a bear as if to scare them. I know quite childish, funny, but they walked right by me with not a word to me. Later Jody filled me in what this whole thing was about. It seems they dress up each Sunday and try to scare people. If you are scared they ask you to give them money and they will leave you alone. Basically dressed up bullies. Every Sunday morning I would be woken up by the crack of these whips. This year is more of the same. Last week I walked through about 15 of these crazy looking guys that were wielding their whips and machetees. They seemed a bit more aggressive so I wasn’t quite sure if I should walk by, but I was late for church and I certainly wasn’t going to be bullied by a bunch of guys that really look like a flock of chickens. I didn’t want the evil one to have that satisfaction so on I went straight by them with my head held high and laughing at each one. I had a little girl come up to me after and ask me if I was scared of them. I told her No, Jesus is with me. Then she walked off.

So what does this have to do with cracking whips and the series of Roots. Well it just baffles me as I learn more and more about this country how the evil one has continued to keep a country that was under slavery and continues to keep the people here in chains. They revolted against slavery and became free, but yet the chains still remain in the generations that have come to now. My eyes have seen and my ears have heard not only the whips, but the cries of pain as a Aunt beats her nephews, as a husband beats his wife, as a sweet elderly woman is left by the roadside as garbage. I hear the laughter and the ridicule as a restevek falls outside my window and knowone from her home helps her up, but our staff jumps up to go out to help. Right now I here the crack of the whips that all the children think are so cool to have and to make that noise yet how many of them are whipped with those same whips. My mind goes back to the series and the brutal whippings Kunte Kinte recieved and so many others. Then my mind returns to Jesus. How much did He endure. He endured the cross for me and for you so that when we place our faith in Him alone we are set free. As the contemorary version of Amazing Grace sings, “my chains are gone, I’ve been set free, my God my Savior has ransomed me and like a flood his mercy reigns, unending love…Amazing Grace.

The “crack of the whip” reminds me today of the price that my Lord and my God paid for me and for my sins. His love for me is overwhelming! It is my prayer today that this community, the zone of the Northwest, this country would set aside the whips that have been passed down from generation to generation…that they would see they have become the same men that once whipped their ancestors. That they are still in chains and that their is only One Way to set them free. Jesus Christ. I pray for the hunger and desire to walk in Christ’s way and character. I pray for those of us that are here that we will speak boldly without fear the Gospel and to speak the truth in love. Help us not to shrink back, but to persevere in prayer and the Lord’s leading. May the Lord be glorified in all that we say and all that we do. In Jesus Name, Amen.

“Roots” changed the way I saw the world and the way we should treat one another. The Lord’s greatest commandment is this ” Love Jesus and love one another.”

May the ones that come after me find me faithful.

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