A Breakthrough Equates a New Creation

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Erica Cody is native to Atlanta, GA and acts as an Associate Pastor at Providence Missionary Baptist Church. Currently, Erica is a third-year seminary student McAfee School of Theology concentrating on pastoral care through the lens of womanism and social justice. Erica enjoys reading, listening to music and writing poetry. Erica is the author of this piece. She presented it in her class, Creation, Spirituality, and the Arts.

The earth was formless
No personality, without purpose, no spirit, just dull, but suffered with great potential
Then Yahweh called forth light
Then the tragedy of separation occurred
Light from darkness
Thus, dismantling entities that can’t operate as bedfellows
Like love and patriarchy
Then there was evening, Sabbath – a repeated duration of reflection, and preparation
And then, there was morning

Sabbath…
Before Yahweh separated the waters, she began with Sabbath
A time of restoration and restitution
A time of articulating and organizing avenues to implement justice
A time established from the beginning of earth’s creation
But she (earth) is saying, “you have forgotten about me!”

Black churchwomen in Warren County, North Carolina laid down their bodies in 1982 to prevent dump trucks – full of toxins – from entering their community these women thought of
me

When Dr. Melanie Harris posits earth justice as social justice, she thought of me

When Dr. Karen Baker-Fletcher speaks prophetically, and asks you to consider the dust from which you’ve come from, she thinks of me

But you don’t think of me

So, I cry out
With Wildfires in California
With Hurricanes in the islands
I can’t breathe due to poison planted in my temple,
I understood when Eric Garner stated, “I can’t breathe.”
So the only way I can release is by erupting through a volcano in Hawaii

Yes, people were displaced and hurt, and death treacherously greeted them
And it hurts my soul, I weep in great despair
But Chile, you ain’t the only one that can cause a riot, huneyIt’s impossible for you to be angrier than me
I tasted the blood of enslaved Africans, of the Indigenous and the Jews
And even now blood continuously spills, seeping down into my gut
And I hear their cries like I heard Abel’s

But it just wasn’t Abel’s, it was the generations he held in his blood

When
When can I
When can I have
When can I have some peace?

Sabbath… (Pause)

There was evening, and there was morning, the third day
And Yahweh created the seas and called me to bring forth vegetation
Yielding seeds of every kind, a true act of diversity
And each plant carried its own seed, a positive, just systematic act of reproduction
And it cost you nothing
But still you unconscious of my body
My body is where you sow the seed, and you’re not being very kind
I’m overworked and trying to heal at the same time
I have insecurities because I’m not sure if you see the beauty in me

Sabbath, evening, please come (Pause)

It is now the fourth day
And even at this point, I drown in sorrow
Yes, I know, I know Yahweh created the two great lights,
Not naming them, not wanting them to be gods
Yahweh positioned the lights in submission to Godself
Yes, I know, I know on the fifth day I bring forth creatures of every kind
And on my bosom, they rest day in and day out

And yet you slaughter my children with no morality, with no consideration of their deity
You don’t thank them for filling your belly
They came from me, they live, thus they have a spirit

And you eat…you eat with great impatience
Discipline yourself
Become rich in the fruit of the spirit
Because right now you’re so ungrateful and entitled
You think you deserve what you have
Grace awakens you every morning, and how many of you told the Creator thank you

Sabbath, come nigh (Pause)

The ending of the sixth-day humankind was formed in the image of Yahweh
So, here I am huney, a Black woman. Stand still and behold the image of Yahweh

There she is a Latina woman. Stand still and delight yourself in your God
There she is a White woman. Stand still and witness the creator denounce privilege
There she is, and there he is, non-binary individuals
They need no explanation to proclaim they’re made in Yahweh’s image
You insult my dust day in and day out
Who in the hell made y’all the judge

Now, I’m getting weary, the seventh day is approaching
Sabbath come forth, like the spirit on Pentecost
For when a true Sabbath actually occurs, a great awakening will occur
And hopefully, your spirit will fall in repentance
And repentance should create a newness within you
An innovation that will employ the will of Yahweh, the will love, of righteousness, of justice

Chile (earth is sweeping her front porch, while speaking to those listening):

I need a breakthrough, I need to be created anew
Will you give it to me?
Will you care?
Will you even consider me?

Sadly stated, I’ve learned not to trust you so much
But those of you that will speak for me, fight for me, seek justice for me
I hope to see, in the new heaven and the new earth

(Earth smiles)

A new earth will be our reconciliation
A new earth, an established act of restorative justice resting in eternity
Truth be told, humanity (a mass community) has been my greatest criminal

If I were to say more, you’ll have been your greatest criminal as well
We need peace, huney. We need peace!

I fervently pray the Comforter convicts you of your ecological sin and environmental racism.
I fervently pray the Comforter convinces you that I’m worth the fight and the people you pollute deserve more

It is now the seventh day!
ASE AND AMEN.

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Nikki Hardeman