The Basement of My Soul: A Prayer of Lament


As darkness rises, gathers tight and folds in upon itself, growing thick and spreading far, be the Light, the light in my soul for only light can chase back the clutches of darkness that threaten to overtake this land I love, the community I once knew . . . my neighborhood far and near.
I cannot shake this darkness. I did not ask for this.
I did not enslave or trample my way to the top and yet I bear the sin of those who did and today are rising even stronger. Because of the color of my skin I bear their sin.
While they gloat I grieve . . .
. . . my soul is shaken to the core and in that shaking I am undone.
I lie a tiny crumpled ball in the basement of my soul. There I weep, for we have sinned.
We have put on a pedestal those who lie and cheat and steal,
who gladly step on the soul of Your creation laughing the wound away.
We elevate those who break the law on their way to the top
but point our fingers at those who break lesser laws just to survive.
We send them to prison or return them to hell while we gorge ourselves with darkness convincing ourselves it is the light.
On the basement of my soul, I am spent.
Day after day I confess the sins of those who share my race and my skin but not my soul. Forgive, I whisper, and let this madness stop.
I open my eyes in this basement.
Screaming winds rip the roof off of this nation and I seeĀ  I am not alone.
Your Light has always been. In me and in others.
We draw closer together, growing stronger.
I remember that darkness makes the light grow stronger.
This cursed, wretched darkness gives courage and bravery
to voices that have never felt heard before.
Out of darkness, hope is born. Justice is birthed anew while we the *doulas believe and nurture, swaddle and grow it.
Light of all light, push back this darkness. Expose the hate for what it is.
Peel back the layers to show the fear and cleanse this land of self preservation.
From the basement of my soul I dance with joy.
I now see a nation of doulas that will never be stopped.
Driving taxis, teaching schools, serving meals, pounding nails, black, white and all glorious shades in between, rich, poor, young, old, in rallies, on knees,
in courtrooms, on buses, in airports, hospitals, and prisons.
In churches, mosques, and synagogues.
One doula gives courage to another and then another and another.
It spreads like a wildfire of light.
Yes! We are the doulas and we stand guard over this birth as if it were our own.
Light is born anew and given wings to deliver a death sentence to this darkness.

Let it be.

Oh God let it be!


*a doula is a woman trained to assist other women during childbirth.