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Dania's Letters

“IT’S SO *insert expletive* RIDICULOUS”, I thundered on the phone to Ugo, as I drove home from the grocery store last Sunday. I’d been out hunting old fashioned oatmeal for granola and had finally found some at the 5th store I visited. But it wasn’t that which I’d found ridiculous. After avoiding doing so for about a week, I had finally brought myself to talk about the George Floyd event and everything it was stirring up. I was angry and frustrated, and as I vented about how ridiculous it was that we had to look up the racism profile of any city before we visited, the overwhelming feeling was one of helplessness. I felt like the protests were great, but we’d been here before. It made no sense to me that in 2020 when we were putting men in space and developing flying cars, we were still dealing with racism. Was humanity really saying that we’d figured out vaccines and tech and the internet and flying, but couldn’t figure out how to deal with… skin colour?

“It falls to us as individuals, babe. We need to check ourselves. Raise our children right. These racists have parents. The rapists too.”, Ugo posited in his characteristic levelheaded way.

“Yes, yes, but I mean beyond that. Babe, it doesn’t make sense. There’s so much darkness. We aren’t doing enough. The church isn’t doing enough. It’s okay to pray, but WE are supposed to be the light of the world. The light that shines in darkness. What are we doing? What should we do? What can we do? Beyond think pieces and social media posts the church needs to come up with a solution”, I cried out in frustration.

“And not just prayer”, I continued, “real, tangible, practical solutions. Influential church leaders across the world need to come together and say ‘enough’. The Pope, the TD Jakes’, the guys who have actual power and influence need to proffer solutions because there is so much darkness. Too much darkness.”

Earlier that week I’d seen the announcement for the upcoming Verzuz battle between Kirk Franklin and Fred Hammond. Verzuz is this thing started during the lockdown by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz (music producers) where two producers/artistes come together to ‘battle’ with their greatest hits on Instagram Live. That night I saw a reminder on my twitter feed but I felt I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to join in. (Isn’t it funny how we do this? Feel like we have to be a certain way before we can come to God instead of coming to Him as we are for Him to fix us?) Anyway, as the battle began, people started tweeting about it so I decided to check it out "just for a few minutes"… boy, was I glad I did. This particular Verzuz was accurately tagged, The Healing. This was me after:

You see God used it to answer the questions I’d been asking earlier that day, about what we were supposed to do; how we were to be the light. Kirk and Fred used their gift to bring light. The entire world is dark and for it to be lit, we all have to shine in our corners; whatever corner you’ve been assigned, however small. It’s this collective shining that lights up the world, not one major light on a stage. 

Kirk and Fred didn’t have political power, but they had music and they used it to bring light to me and the over 350k people that tuned in that day and the multitude of people that have watched it after. They shone their light on the hill they’d been assigned. 

Do I still think church leaders with influence need to step up? I do; I really do. Because that’s the hill they’ve been assigned. 

But no matter how large a hill one person has been assigned, the world is only fully lit if we’re all lighting up our corners. Your corner could be a WhatsApp group chat. Could be your office; could be your home. It doesn’t matter; your light is important. 

We’re like sleeper cells that God has placed around the world. He’s been training and cultivating us in those corners, through our experiences and interactions. Now he’s lit the match to activate us. He's turning us on and asking that we shine in this darkness.

So, will you? Shine?

On Repeat
Strong GOD

Here’s one of my favourite songs from that Verzuz battle because it’s so timely. 

Mayday, mayday

The earth is shaking

Who gon' save the babies

From another Bloody Sunday

I'm singing mayday mayday

They love me or they hate me

For my skin colour

But you say I am your brother

Uncle Kirk released this song last year, but you’d think he wrote it last week. The video however was made for this season and released last Monday.

We need a strong God

We need the real God

The God with the resurrection power from the grave

To take away the hate

To heal the human race

Binge Jesus.

The day after the battle, I went back on the Instagram page to catch up on the parts I missed at the beginning, but I ended up watching the entire thing again. And was healed all over again. It’s over two hours long, but I promise, it doesn’t feel like it.

Watch on YouTube 

Watch on Instagram

I hope this letter has brought some light your way; I hope you lighten someone’s load this week and light up your corner as we light up the world. 

If you’d like to share this with someone, you may use the forward ( > ) button in the footer – its beside the social media icons. 

As always, my email's in the footer if you'd like to write me back (or just hit 'reply').

Live free,
Live free,
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Chronicles of Dania

Lagos, Nigeria

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