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Night Whispers - February 9

  • 2020 Feb 09

Night Whispers Devotional

February 9th

Dream word – FIX

Deuteronomy 15:15-18

You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this thing today. And if it happens that he says to you, 'I will not go away from you,' because he loves you and your house, since he prospers with you, then you shall take an awl and thrust it through his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also to your female servant you shall do likewise.” NKJV

Of plumbers and disrememberment

Not too long ago, I had a cup of coffee in Starbucks with a descendent of the great abolitionist himself, William Wilberforce. He was a nice chap, the plumber, I am sure William was as well, but his descendent was an especially nice plumber.

I hate plumbing. I can’t do it well and so consequently, I avoid it. However, broken, blocked, stinky and overflowing pipes in a functioning kitchen, always demand my immediate attention, despite the fact that the almost always bungled attempt at repair, always get me wet, smelly and flustered, agitated, aggravated and angry. I swear, this mostly happens to me because of the absence of right and necessary tools.

Nevertheless, with gritted teeth, the cold copper and the dirty ribbed overflow pipe tag team wrestling match begins and from a well learned and safe distance, the wife and family, gazing and listening at the groaning and cursing coming from under some dark tight space, or from a cramped hunched over body, crushed behind some blue lint covered, hard white dryer, simply stare, and  suck cold air through bared teeth, to see if this time, both me and my wrench will for once, just once O Lord, arise victorious from the sodden carpet, instead of damp and defeated with the same pitiful confession on my lips of, “I could do this darling, if only I had the right tools!”

The plumber, when he comes, will always repair the problem calmly and speedily, if albeit, expensively. Maybe next time I am defeated in the stinky waters, a grand descendent of Wilberforce will descend upon me in my distress and freely free me from my gross defeat and embarrassment. I hate plumbing.

Nobel prize-winning American writer, editor, and professor, Toni Morrison dedicated her novelBeloved to the estimated sixty million or more black Africans who died as captives in Africa or on slave ships. In her 1998 novel, one of whose themes is the demonic return and embodiment of the mother “Seth’s” child, called Beloved. You see, long time back, mother Seth pursued by hateful slave owners, had cut her own baby Beloved’s throat with a saw, rather than have her go through her own personal experience of slavery and now, the dead child had returned to reek her vengeance.

Beloved, the novel, was later made into a startlingly magnificent film of the same name, starring Oprah Winfrey as Seth and Thandie Newton as Beloved. My favourite scene is the community exorcism ofBeloved and following that emotionally explosive scene, the release and healing of both the murdering mother Seth, and the local African community. Professor Karen Baker-Fletcher, refers to the demonic character of Beloved as “an embodiment of vast historical memory” also remarking that, “The past can be disremembered but never erased.” I believe that. Certainly Morrison conveyed most thoroughly that, “Those who die bad won’t stay in the ground”. I have also found that to be true, for disremembered people and events, always refuse to stay in the ground and as testimony to this truth, pipes gurgle loudly in communities, blockages occur in cultures and the consequent foul brokenness always eventually manifests itself in society. No one is looking for the disremembered, for they are not lost! No, for conveniences sake, they have been deliberately placed aside. However, be sure of this, that all the disremembered will eventually find us out and come a knocking on our doors, flooding our white ware’d kitchens of community with all kinds of smelly kak. Yes, I hate plumbing, and this kind in particular.

When the disremembered manifests itself, manifests themselves even, well, when this happens, we shall all need a Wilberforce. Nationally, locally and even personally, we shall all need a person of some experience with a wrench. So, if you’re going to be a political, a theological, a psychological or even a local community plumber, then you had better get some gifting, you had better get some training and you had better get some desire for the work, for I can promise you this, that you will always have situational and personal, foul, and smelly messes to deal with, both from people and nations, who being deliberately neglectful and hateful of their own plumbing, are never the less, always shocked and surprised by the manifestations of dis-rememberment, that always eventually rises, through the foul and murky waters of our lives.

I hate plumbing.

Listen: “But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this thing. ‘When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this thing’.” - Deuteronomy 24:18-22 NKJV

Pray: Lord send us again, a plumber named Wilberforce, remove our blockages and free us for all our spewing garbage, in Jesus name I pray, amen!

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