When Monique won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the movie Precious, I was not only elated because of her accomplishment but because the ministry that she continuously displays through her craft as an actress was shining for the world to see in a phenomenal way. Whenever you see Monique, you feel the soul-stirring sincerity of her commitment to people and her vision to use art to not just entertain but to promote change in our consciousness. Not only do we laugh with her, but we cry with her; we grow strong with her; and most importantly, we become wiser because of her.
She reminds us to love ourselves regardless of appearances. She teaches us that we don’t have to look like emaciated models or anything other than who we are to be loving and liberated and loved. She teaches us that we can be dignified and strong and determined, as well as gracious and glorious and fine. She teaches us that we need to face our problems head on so that we can begin to do the healing work that all communities need. She teaches us that we can be victorious simply by doing what is right. What better lesson is there than that?
Monique’s acceptance speech was gracious and poignant. Among other words of recognition, she thanked the Academy for doing what was “right.” She said that it wasn’t about the politics, it was about the performance. She also thanked her husband for convincing her to forego doing what was popular in order “to do what’s right.”
Sapphire’s book Push is the story that the movie Precious is based on. It’s the story of an African American girl growing up in the most abusive home imaginable. (And there are some things in that book that I could never even imagine). The most horrific thing about the story is that it’s real. It’s happening everyday around us. Every moment, youth of all ages are being abused by their parents and other adults and have no one to help them but the grace of God shining through the compassion of that rare individual who decides to take the time to help them PUSH. Push past the obstacles; push past the pain; push out of the hell-hole that we live in to find a better place to grow and evolve as the beloved child of God that we all are. If you haven’t seen Precious or read the book PUSH, now is the time to do it. Most importantly, now is the time to open your own consciousness to do what is right. And if you can’t, well . . . Push.
It reminds me of that poem Myself by Edgar Guest that my mother recited to me. I have it taped to my computer printer so that I always see it: “I have to live with myself, and so, I want to be fit for myself to know; I want to be able as days go by, always to look myself straight in the eye; I don’t want to stand with the setting sun and hate myself for the things I’ve done. I don’t want to keep on a closet shelf a lot of secrets about myself, and fool myself as I come and go into thinking nobody else will know the kind of [wo]man I really am; I don’t want to dress myself in sham. I want to go out with my head erect. I want to deserve all [humanity’s] respect; but here in this struggle for fame and pelf, I want to be able to like myself. I don’t want to think as I come and go that I’m bluster and buff and empty show. I never can hide myself from me. I see what others may never see. I know what others may never know. I never can fool myself — and so, whatever happens, I want to be self-respecting and conscience free.” I want to do what’s right — regardless of what others say. Spirit’s omnipresent light will always reveal the way.
One of my friends on Facebook raised the question today, when should you compromise your beliefs in a corporate setting? Another question would be, when should you stop trusting in God? Jesus said in Matthew 5:29-30, “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” Doing right means we release anything and anyone who causes us to be inconsistent with our belief in the almighty power and presence of God. In other words, we can cut off or release whatever or whoever we are hanging onto in fear because God is our constant source of supply, unlimited in good.
Doing right means that I trust in God, even though I can’t see sometimes in the material realm just how God is blessing me. Doing right means I can keep moving forward — despite the appearances of pain and affliction — and cross the threshold of my doubt to the realization that I am moving in Spirit and Spirit is moving in me. Doing right means that I can reach beyond the boundaries of the norm and the conventional to be the me that God anointed me to be, in the complete acknowledgment of the Divine within. And even in my darkest hour, I can push, knowing that I AM a Precious Child of God.
I can push with a heart full of the strength of God, and say “Come Holy Spirit come, fill this place — fill this space within me that has not yet realized You are here. Come Holy Spirit, take me across the great divide of everything that keeps me from being all that I can [be] — and show me your power; make your presence known. Come Holy Spirit, take me over the river that only good can cross and breathe through me my destiny, the triumph of my soul, the dynamic being that I AM. Come Holy Spirit, take me through waters on dry land, and use me to serve you with faith. Come Holy Spirit, come and shine your light through me.”
Reverend Cecilia Loving
Pastor, SPIRITMUV (www.spiritmuv.com ) (All of the materials in SPIRITMUV email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. )