As the first God is a Brown Girl Too “Opening to Consciousness” Retreat approaches, I grow excited by what promises to be a powerful celebration of who we are in mind, body and spirit. Sherri Roberts Lumpkin will be teaching us to honor the divine within through her amazing ragbaby-building workshop. Michelle Bernard will be guiding us through the breath of love and the transformation of the body. Myreah Moore will be blessing us through her visualization meditations, which help us see past appearances to the God in which we live and move and have our being. Caryl Lucas will give us the tools that we need to clean up the clutter and release the past. I, along with Wendy Sealey and Raquiba LaBrie, will take participants on a soul-stirring journey to recreate, reclaim and resurrect the resources that God has given us.
Some have asked where Jesus Christ stands in relation to what appears to be a bold, unorthodox and perhaps even brazen affirmation that God is a Brown Girl, Too. How could God be a dark chocolate, caramel, latte, cinnamon, peanut butter, crème, red clay earth co-creator throughout the world, the continents and the ages, with locked hair, twisted braids, tight curls and bone straight, moving through every conceivable size, shade, shape and language — above all things, as a girl?
Who dares to celebrate the least celebrated as the God within?
Well, Jesus did.
In John 10:34 (NIV), he said, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’?”
In John 14, Jesus said, the Holy Spirit would live in us and be in us; he said I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
In Luke 17:20-21, Jesus said “the kingdom of God is within you.”
Not only does Genesis say that we all — male and female — were made in the image and likeness of God, but Jesus taught in Matthew 23:9, that we should not call anyone on earth our father; for One is our Father, He who is in heaven — the same Kingdom of Heaven within.
Paramahansa Yogananda said that it is God who becomes the father to protect the child, the mother to love the child unconditionally, and friends to help the soul without the limitations of familial instincts. It is God who becomes the food and breath and the life-sustaining functions. It is God who penetrates our understanding and awakens us to the duty and privilege to worship God templed in ourselves.
The Fifth Commandment teaches us to honor our mother and father. But our mother and father are not merely our human parents; our parents are also the divine presence of the Spirit within.
It’s easy to try to push the responsibility of our power to something outside of ourselves, rather than to honor the divine within. It’s easy to rely on words already spoken and expressions long over-used rather than to create new ones that empower rather than minimize the greater things that Jesus promised us that we could do. It’s easy to sit back and allow ourselves to be disinherited, disenfranchised and disowned by the gods that we are, simply because we allow ourselves to be pushed by appearances rather than to be pulled by prophecy.
But it is time to stop taking the easy way out and be the co-creators in Spirit that we are — daring enough to accept the victory of the God in us. We have to honor the divine ideas that the Holy Spirit keeps anointing us with — telling a new story, blessing new souls, finding new strength, expressing as new energy. We have to honor the success that the Holy Spirit gives us, overflowing with the abundance of our gifts, talents and dreams. We must be resurrected in a new faith and a revitalized holiness that does not despair or condemn but is uplifted by the all-encompassing light of our being. We can no longer diminish our magnitude by wasting time “hating on” each other. We have to step up to the plate and manifest the joy, the strength, the wisdom, the love, and the freedom that we have been blessed with — through every breath of life that we breathe. We have to reclaim the divine that we have lost through the ages and receive the prize for the race that we have so long pressed forward to win.
God is a Brown Girl Too is the beginning of my calling to reclaim the divine in us all, starting with me: the most marginalized, despised and disrespected. For if I can see God as me, the faith of my vision of God as all humanity becomes clearer. If I can see God as me, I know who my ancestors are, even though I was stolen from their bosom. I know where my true home is, even though I have never lived on her soil. I know that the place where I began is not really a time or space at all, but is the magnitude of the Holy Spirit within.
In this truth, I can embrace my mother and my father — not merely in terms of those biological, adoptive or chosen parents who nurtured me, but I can feel again the Divine that brought me to this moment to express the marvelous being that I AM. With Spirit as my true legacy, I know that there is nothing that I cannot do. Nothing and no one keeps me from my good because I am not limited by mere flesh but am lifted by omnipotent Spirit.
I honor the God in me — not simply as a prayer but as the enlightened purpose and endless possibility of all that I AM. I honor the Breath that the Holy Ghost breathed as us in the transformational moment of our spiritual liberation. And I sing a new song for a new freedom that will relieve the shackles of our past and bless us with a brand new consciousness.
Yes, Beloved, God is a Brown Girl, too, simply means . . . so are you.
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