Birthdays, Earthquakes & Hope

March 22, 2023

By Nicole

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I come to this writing space with a stew of thoughts and questions brewing in the pot of my heart. There are so many things to think about, pray on, wonder at.

My fellowship and I just got off a call discussing the spiritual outpouring happening at Asbury University. Many of us have had similar experiences in the past, and what is on my heart is that— this is just the beginning.

There have been so many mass shootings and senseless murders slaughtering our campuses and communities. The world is at war, and a recent earthquake that, last I heard has taken out over 40,000, has devastated Turkey, Syria, and surrounding areas.

People are dying. People are dead.

It can feel disheartening to live through these global atrocities.

And then we have our own personal lives where we’re dealing with tough stuff.

For these reasons, while listening to this grand experience of folks in Asbury encountering love, joy, and spiritual healing in droves, I am encouraged. I am deeply encouraged. In the bleakness of darkness, there is light. In the onslaught of pain, there is love.

Last night I had the honor of reading a portion of Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye.” As soon as I saw this opportunity, I volunteered. I knew that God had been speaking to me about this woman’s legacy. Her writing. Her impact on this generation. And to witness her talent both audibly (I listened to her reading it on the audiobook) and legibly is indescribable. She is pure literary ingenuity. But that was already established by all of her awards and accomplishments. 

Still, I think what is more profound is not just her ability to write well and dive into mastering an art I’m still testing the waters in, but it’s her ability to reach those who don’t look like her with a raw, uncut message of injustice, sexism, and racism. Her skill to cause them, those “others,” to resonate with her unapologetically Black message when they are so far from being this. Well. That is the ingenuity to me.

I’m reminded that skin is just that, though. It’s just skin. It’s the heart of a person that matters. Often we get so caught up in the aesthetic and what someone looks like. We all do it. We all judge. 

But God looks at the heart.

And I pray we can be more conscious in that endeavor as well.

There are always hard things in this life. Christ warned us of this. But we are also promised hope and strength to get through those hard things. That is what I see happening in Asbury. And is a glimpse of what I witnessed last night. 

Because though this legendary writer has finished her race and crossed into the next life to cheer us on, her work is still influencing the artists of today who will have their own impact.

While there are wars and deaths and earthquakes, there is revival. There is healing. And there is a celebration of a wonderful woman who walked in purpose. Who exposed the dreadful disease of racism that still plagues our society using the art I continue to fall in love with, called fiction. Well, more specifically, Black Fiction.

In other news, did you know that I just dropped the pre-sale for my debut novel When Love Wins? You can check out more here! This time around there is an audiobook in addition to the eBook and paperback versions. Make sure you are subscribed to my email list to catch special offers, discounts, insider information, and more!

Are you on Instagram/Facebook? If so, please reach out. I have a series called “Word of the Day Wednesdays” where I share 5-10 minutes worth of nuggets that are on my heart, which I hope are encouraging to others on IGTV/FB Live! I have these also posted on my Youtube Channel.

And, lastly, if you have read “Stories for the (Urban) Soul, please put up an Amazon review here. I was SUPER encouraged and blessed when a new reader put up her review for my 2nd book which you can view here :).

As always, thank you for your support!

SHALOM

 

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