Places to Find Strength

To add more of an answer to your question, when you take off your red and blue power rings, you’ll still be strong.  Your strength doesn’t come from plastic pieces melded together in unseen factories.  Your strength has traveled a much longer distance to reach you.

Your strength comes from more people than you’ll meet because you were loved before you were conceived, loved by church people of all colors, loved by relatives around the world, loved by people who passed into eternity before they talked to you, loved by gift-givers who we thanked but whose generosity has rolled into the long sustained gift that is your life.

Your strength comes from your aunts and uncles who will give and have given their energies for you and for your cousins and who have been good parents, even to you, and who have been counselors and aides and supports and anchors for you already.  Use up the time they spend with you and relish their spoiling, open, broad care.

Your strength comes from your mother who has thrived and triumphed through and after hardships, injustice, great and difficult choices to become the splendid champion she is.  Ask her about them and close your lips to listen.

Your strength comes from your grandparents; one you don’t remember, except through our pictures and our stories; one you bring up from time to time, when you ask about sickness and death and heaven; and two you know and love and hug and see.  All of them have more to teach you than you can learn.  Find every way to be their student.

Your strength comes from great-grandparents who made music, who produced crops, who wandered over more acres than you’ll ever count, who gave hard, who had many children and watched them live and bear their own children and, some of them, die.  They wanted a beautiful future for you even though they couldn’t touch you and every act of submission and toil and business and production had seeds of grace for you in it.

Your strength comes from great-great-grandparents who sang spirituals in fields they didn’t own and worked day-long lives that collected into decades of labor that bore no capital or income or appreciation because their world was decorated in corruption of the deepest kind.  But there was so much more to them than their taken wages and taken days.  They, too, saw far into the dark ahead of their futures and they saw you and they worked and suffered and enjoyed and ate and slept and tried so that you would have all those abilities within you too.

 

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