I had a different blog scheduled for today. I scheduled it for June 19th, unaware of the significance of the day. I’m ashamed and saddened at the previous sentence, but it’s true. I don’t think I am alone in that. Every person is different, regardless of skin color, every journey is different, but I realize over the last few weeks how much I have missed. Today marks a significant day. A day, a message that will never occur again without awareness, value, or celebration. A day that I will be teaching my kids about. Juneteenth is a day worth celebrating but also a reminder to continue fighting.
What is it?
The image above was shared on the Washington Post. This image is the actual original order signed by Maj. F.W. Emery on behalf of Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger that declared that all enslaved in Texas were now free. Copies have existed for years, but this year the original archive was retrieved. June 19, 1865, was the day that the news of freedom, a hope for a new future, was shared with slaves in Texas.
“This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.”
African Americans were freed in 1862 in the Emancipation Proclamation, but the word took years to spread. Can you imagine the joy? The celebration? The hope?
What About Today?
In watching the Netflix documentary, 13th, named after the 13th Amendment, I quickly became aware of the clause in the amendment, “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States…”. That clause has taken on many shapes and forms to continue to challenge or limit people of color. Whether we see it or experience it, there are people who have been and continue to be targeted. Whether we feel it or hear it, every person matters. The more we can partner for unity and righteous justice, the more we rise together and glorify Christ.
Today, I pray that we see the message above and ask the Lord to expose the areas that we can love one another better. I pray that we will seek steps in unity to change the way conversations are had, systems are created and people are targeted. Today is a perfect day to begin stepping out to help support and champion the freedom of our black brothers and sisters. Freedom that should have always been, but wasn’t, simply because of the color of skin.
We can change it. It starts with me and with you. It starts with the conversations at home and in our communities. It’s going to take all of us speaking for unity. All of us pursuing Heavenly wisdom for new systems, new training, new levels of awareness to create a better tomorrow. But it’s possible!
A Prayer for Today
Lord, thank you for courageous people like Major General Granger and Abraham Lincoln who went against the grain in the 1800s to fight for a new future. Thank you for leaders who chose to stand for justice, equality, and humanity. Today, in this season, we find ourselves very exposed and in need of a new level of freedom and equality. We are broken people with broken systems in need of a Savior. Lord, you sent Jesus to wash over all us, making each and every one of us sanctified for an opportunity at eternity with you. Jesus’ blood unified and qualified each and every one of us. Thank you for the word of freedom that came all those years ago. Thank you for what you are doing in this season now. Even in the chaos, in the noise, and in the unseen, you are still God and you are still working. We rest in you Father. You are our anchor for hope. Father, you are where we lay the foundation and petition for change. Heal our land. Heal our hearts. Help us to link arms together like never before to ignite transformative change on all levels and bring glory to you.
Forgive us where we have missed opportunities to defend and protect our fellow brothers and sisters. Forgive us as Christians for not leading the way in this. Thank you Father that you are not absent from this season. You are not surprised by it, but I believe you are awakening believers everywhere to deploy your word and your heart for such a time as this. Today is a day of victory for your sons and daughters. Speak Lord, we are listening. Lead us to change. Lead us to unify. Lead us for victory.