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A Black-Painted Vision

John is an actor, writer, and entrepreneur interested in the search for truth and meaning in the world.

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If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 1 J

The pains of the heart and I have become old friends. Like a man jilted by a lover, I have grown numb. In the spacious land of liberty, I am banished to a desolate place. With contempt, the citizens tolerate my presence. Even though I live, I am treated as dead. I have become an object of cursing and ridicule. Why am I so despised? What crime have I committed? It is simply for the act of being a black man.

In my own country, I am alienated from the pursuit of happiness. As a plague that menaces, so I am avoided. The inhumanity of humanity causes my joy to wither and my hope to die. I am loathed in the land where my forefathers labored to establish justice and that proclaims all men are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. Sadly, those who claim they know the Lord do these things. How can they claim that this is one nation under God with liberty and justice for all? Those very same people flee from my presence, not wanting to be seen with the despised or ensure the benefits declared in our nation’s creed for all of its citizens. This loathing they perpetrate knowing that I pray to the same God that they do and have confessed Him as my very own. I pray that God has mercy on their souls in the day of judgment.

When I seek to follow my dreams, the path is secretly blocked, and I am said to be unworthy. I have to labor more fervently than my peers because my every endeavor is challenged or hindered; yet I continue to press on. I pray for change, and it seems so distant. If the godly behave in this manner, how much more does the sinner? Many tell me in the darkness of night to endure the madness. But, how can I endure the trampling of my dignity? Am I not a man and fellow Christian?

Why do I continue? I continue because there is an all-consuming vision that permeates my consciousness, which I am destined to fulfill in my lifetime. Wherever I go, there is the consistent reminder of my forefathers’ sufferings. Their voices cry out from beyond the grave demanding that I fulfill the vision. They had hoped to see the fulfillment of the vision but were allowed to only see a faint glimmer of the splendor that awaited my generation. Even to this day, a river of sorrowful tears, a pool of innocent blood, and an ocean of misery follow me everywhere I go. It is the suffering and unthinkable barbarism that my ancestors endured in this land. Consequently, I cannot be depressed, discouraged, or defeated because the voices constantly demand that I fulfill the vision.

The battle is fierce with every facet of society in opposition to my very survival. The formidable weapons of sickness, racism, indifference, and poverty are arrayed against me. I am at dead center with nowhere to flee. Nevertheless, I have come to fight and win by any means necessary. I am armed with an everlasting gospel, superior education, and intellectual might. I will not be defeated nor will I dishonor all those who went before me and suffered that I might have this opportunity to redeem their agony and shame. If I fail, it would be better that I was never born for without honor and achievement, a black man’s life is not fit to be lived. Thus, when I stumble, I will arise for I have purposed in myself to fulfill the vision of those poor vanquished souls of yesterday by achieving glory and honor for the God of my forefathers.

© 2021 John Remington Pierce

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