Have you ever felt like you received a sign from God? A blaring, not to be ignored sign from the Most- High. Something that hits you over the head with a two by four; nagging, begging, screaming for your attention. Perhaps there’s something you’ve been putting off for far too long; constantly ignoring the still small whispers you receive right before you make a poor decision; the thing you know you shouldn’t be doing, but it feels so good, tastes so good, looks so good, you simply can’t resist. Oh, how wonderful life could be if you just had a small amount of self-control, if you supplied any degree of discipline, if you could only want to be this way, instead of having to force yourself to be good, righteous, virtuous, worthy, wholesome, and un-effected. But at last, you are not that person. Nope. You’re just like the rest of us, and guilt-ridden for not being perfect, you dive back into that thing, and it feels so good, and because you couldn’t control yourself, yet again, you end up hooked all over again.
But this time, the whisper didn’t whisper at all. This time, the voice that normally attends your willpower’s funeral has decided it’s had quite enough of your shit. It’s not talking so sweetly anymore. It’s punching you repeatedly in the face, it’s cussing you out, it’s calling you foul names, it’s yelling, “I love you,” and “I hate you,” all at the same time. The voice is now ear-piercing, and it’s bawling for you to change your ways. What more must happen? You can already feel the effects of your poor habits, but you simply can’t resist…normally. But this time is different. This time, the voice isn’t asking. The voice isn’t being politically correct. Today the voice is an unrelenting activist. Today the voice is ready to tear shit up. The voice isn’t peacefully marching in protest, today the voice is throwing bricks and breaking windows. The voice is holding up traffic, rolling deep with his peeps. The voice is jumping on top of cars and setting fire to trash cans and taxi cabs. This voice has taken up arms and is wearing a t-shirt that reads, by any means necessary.
All the sound advice the voice has given you, and still you refuse to “come subject”? The voice is tired of being that gentle loving mother, who gently chides. This time, mama plucked a switch off the big tree in the yard. She’s whipping that ass into submission; like you just embarrassed her at her job, or showed your ass at school, or got caught doing something you knew you didn’t have any business doing. This is the voice of big mama. Big hands and loving heart prepared to give you the tough love you so desperately need and unfortunately deserve.
Or maybe your voice is a father. A hard working, blue collar father. He just wants to come home, take a shower and eat the biggest piece of chicken that mama prepared. But instead, he has deal with your mess. Uh oh, he’s taking his belt off, he’s looking right at you. His forehead is all wrinkled from the mean look he’s got on his face. He walks forward, you get a flashback of the last whupping you got, and you get scared, frozen in time and space. You want to scream but nothing’s coming out. It’s too late to run, he’s got you by the wrist with his left hand and striking furious blows with his right. This voice is tired of you acting up. This is going to be a punishment that you remember for the rest of your life.
But just as fast as the voice descends upon you, it also disappears. It opened your eyes. Profound revelation of things already known stirring you back in the face. What will it take for you to change? What more does the voice have to do? If the sound of God’s still, small voice is not enough, will the blare of this trumpet be sufficient? Or perhaps the shock of his drums will incite you to respond according. There are echoes in this place, but we refuse to hear them. The acoustics work very well but require acknowledgment and action before they can become pitch perfect. But ignore them, and they become nails sliding across a chalk board, the howl and shriek of a banshee. They cry out the way that slaughtered beef bleeds out. Will you acknowledge them? Will you listen? Or will you go about your day in the same way you arrived at this place; believing that death or devastation or despair lives in some far-off kingdom, instead in your own backyard?
Will you listen?
Will you change?
Today, the voice cried out by way of stroke; by way of heart attack, by way overdose, by way cardiac arrest, by way bankruptcy, by way jail time, by way STD, by way eviction, by way of failed suicide, by way of stress, by way of fatigue, by way of addiction.
Will you listen?
Will you change?