On Friday, September 30, 2016 Solange Knowles dropped what could be considered a musical masterpiece, “A Seat at the Table”. At 7:54 the morning of, I woke up with a text from my best friend Fatimah, who has been a solidified Solange fan since the early 2000’s , that read “You HAVE to listen F.U.B.U off Solange’s new album…like HAVE.” –why she had listened to Solange’s entire album before 8am on its release date is another topic—But, she wouldn’t be the only one to text me about the album. In fact, I received a few texts about the album and I could not scroll through my social media without Solange references, all of which praised the album. People were loving it.
Initially, I put off listening to the album. I like listening to new albums while doing nothing, or driving in my car with no interruptions. For a few days, I just didn’t have my optimal “listening party” scenario. While I put off listening to the album, there was one song in particular that continued to be posted by people of social media with hashtags like #mood, #inmyfeelings, and #yasssss. Then I received a text from a male friend, he said “Did you hear Cranes from Solange’s album? It’s really good. It’s the best to me, I relate to it even though I’m a guy.” At this point I had to listen to it…I needed to know why almost everyone in my personal and social media circle felt so tied to this one particular song…So I opened my Tidal app, found the song and heard…
“I tried to drink it away. I tried to put one in the air. I tried to dance it away. I tried to change it with my hair. I ran my credit bill up, thought a new dress would make it better. I tried to work it away but, that just made me even sadder. I tried to keep myself busy. I ran around in circles, think I made myself dizzy. I slept it away. I sexed it away. I read it away.”
I immediately understood why her song resonated with so many; I understood why it immediately was pulling me in. Solange spoke about doing something that we all do: attempt to fix our issues with tactics that give us temporary healing. There has been a time in all our lives that we tried to seek refuge in a drink, a person, a job, money, etc. There’s been a time when we thought we could heal our issues and even when we engage in the activity, afterwards we still feel like “cranes in the sky”. We feel burdened with heaviness looming over us, ugliness characterizing us, bleakness surrounding us.
While listening to this song, I couldn’t help but to think about the very story I decided to name this blog after, the biblical story of the woman with the issue of blood. The account from Mark 5:24-34, tells a story of a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years and was only healed once she sought Jesus in the midst of a crowd and touched his garment with the faith that she would be made whole. When sharing the background of the woman, the bible tells us, “And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.”
Because the story does not give specific detail about the woman’s diagnosis, I believe that the important point is not to focus necessarily on the issue but to reflect on what we do to find the cure to the things that plague us. This woman spent years trying to self- diagnose, going from doctor to doctor to only to find that she became worse with time.
What do we turn to fix ourselves? To feel better, to “look better” Do we turn to alcohol, sex, overindulgence, excessive shopping? Do we have the mindset that if I just do this, it will make everything better? If I get this position, I’ll receive my drive again. If I give myself to this guy, this girl, I’ll feel loved. If I join this sorority, fraternity I’ll be affirmed, I’ll fit in. If I purchase this home in this neighborhood, I’ll feel like I have value. If I lose weight I’ll think highly of myself. If I do this…If I do that…If I go here, if I go there, if I put in these bundles, if I wear this waist trainer…If I, If I, If I…& while nobody wants to admit it, at one point in our life we think that the attainment of something will fix something that is wrong with us, we think we’ve found the prescription and the cure. But, how many know that there is no worst feeling than obtaining that which you thought would heal you yet, after getting it you feel worse off than you were before? You went where you thought you would be healed only to keep getting worse.
The woman with the issue of blood’s testimony teaches us that we don’t have to spend years trying to find the cure. While the song is beautiful, we don’t have to endure the ugly emotion of feeling like cranes in the sky. Jesus is always present and always there. Like the woman, you may have to push through your own personal crowd –trials, tribulations and obstacles— in order to reach him, but the work to get to his garment is worth your while. Once you encounter God, he won’t leave you disappointed.
Well what does touching God look like? In 2016, what does it look like for you to reach out and touch him. First you must realize that a touch is intentional and takes effort. Begin to build a relationship with Christ. Increase your prayer life and take your concerns to him. Spend time in devotion with him; allow space in your day for quality time with you and him. Just like the woman in the story, Jesus will notice you placing your hands out to him and he will respond to your hearts desires and your pleas to be made whole.
I invite you to reach out and touch him. Seek his face and have faith that he is Jehovah Rapha, The Lord Your Healer…Those things that you have been trying to cure yourself with have yet to be proven successful. Try Jesus.