Hoping By Faith
Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people. – Jeremiah 8:22
One of the most profound vehicles of hope is the genius of the early slave songs. One cannot help but be deeply influenced by the strength and vitality of the Spirituals. What began as slave utterances, that is, moans, chants and cries grew into what Wyatt Tee Walker calls “…the heart music of all other American music.”
In spite of the brutal hand of slavery, the slaves were able ‘to sing the Lord’s songs in a strange land’. They were able, in the words of Howard Thurman, to “establish a ground of hope undimmed by the contradictions which held them in tight embrace.”
Thurman goes on to declare that in the Spirituals we find “courage, self-respect, and emotional security, we find bold, audacious, and unconquerable faith; the persistent hope of the human spirit, a hope against all evidence to the contrary … a weapon to free the slave from a devasting, despairing psychological shackle.” This was in large part due to the Word of God where they were reminded that they were “children of destiny”, and not meant for bondage, but rather, created for freedom, and so are you.
“Thank you, Lord for the freedom you give for journey of life and the promise of total liberation from the bondages of body, mind and spirit. Through Jesus Christ, there is a balm in Gilead. Amen”
-Dumas Alexander Harshaw, Jr.