I knelt down by my bed frame about to say my last prayer of the day. “Thank you Jesus” was what I intended to utter but halfway through I paused, closed my eyes and took a deep breath. God, Chadwick Boseman? I managed to finish praying and went to bed. The next morning, I woke up to a text from a friend, “My sis, did you hear?” I knew exactly what she was referring to. I went on social media and it was like a deluge of tributes: the pictures, the eulogies, the reflections on life, love and kindness. I was not sure if I should write a piece today. Someone once told me that my pieces are “too hopeful” and I smiled because I never thought that words of encouragement would be viewed through critical lens; do people not want to be uplifted? From my conversation with that person, I realized that the answer is “not always.” Sometimes, people just want to be left alone; they hope that like them in that moment of despair, you would have no words to offer.
I planned to have no words for you but then I saw commentary on life and the futility of it. Not going to lie; I thought the same thing for a second. What is the point of this rat race if at any moment, the race could end whether you’re ready or not? God did not allow these thoughts to linger long enough; even if I wanted no words to convince me otherwise, words still came because they were good for me. I was reminded that life has purpose; we are all here for a reason. Be it in our own little corner of the world or front and centre on the world stage like many of the icons we have lost this year, we have something to give. I don’t have all the answers so I can’t tell you exactly what that purpose, reason or “something” is. However, I hear it in all the beautiful testimonies people tell about their loved ones who are no longer here regardless of how long they lived; I see it in the way people describe what Black Panther meant to them or their children; I know it when I think of all the incredible things society enjoys today because of those who walked before us.
The other day, my brother and I went to the grocery store and planned to walk home until it started raining heavily. We stood in the store for a little while just talking, hoping the rain would disappear as quickly as it came. We eventually gave in and called a cab. As we sprinted into it, his phone fell and he also lost his AirPods momentarily. Although I recognise its value, I really dislike the rain because it could be quite disruptive. Yet, I know that the sun will not always shine bringing its light and warmth; rain must come. It’s okay to stand for a little while or in the larger picture that is life, be still. When circumstances that are not so pleasant occur, it is more than okay to just take a break, to pause; in fact, it is necessary. Yet, bearing in mind that you carry purpose, I hope you find the courage to keep breathing. Understanding that the gloomy rain is only for a time, when the sun rises, I hope you rise with it and let your God-given light shine bright as the sun.
“Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you are here to fulfill”- Chadwick Boseman
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.”-Matthew 5:14-15 (from the Bible)
“But my darling, there is no such thing as light at the end of the tunnel, you must realize that you are the light”-Anonymous