Ayinde Russell

Artist. Educator. Consultant.

11.16.13 - Champions

I've worked with a local Denver based ministry called Isaachar for some time now, and during the time I've spent with incredible apprentices being gainfully developed in this program, I've written a piece that acknowledges to me what is at the heart of preparing faithful people for work that produces social change.  Tonight, I'll be reading this piece for Mile High ministries, the central non-profit of which Isaachar is a program, during an opening event of a new office space they've built.  

 

Champions

our champions carry mountains on their backs.  they leave behind a heavy tread in the earth.  footsteps wide as the ocean.  crosscurrent titans straddling tide and shore.  
i know them.  complicated monuments of the dust we are made from.  
the here forevers but gone too soons.   
men and women who break the mold.  they are at their best when they are at their worst.
I've known them... giants
my parents wore white collars with blue collar swag.  my father put weight in my feet.  he was always more show you than tell you.
he didn't know sleep
He knew days by work-shift
he knew my mother bed-ridden in the hospital after giving birth to me
he knew we might only have each other soon
so he became a bough that could not break
and cradle that could not fall
I know giants.  they raised led me.
my mother translated sunsets
opened the palms of God from her hospital bed and sipped Jesus through her IV.
the drip was communion wine.
she made it back home.
she made our home and translates sunset.
did not believe that God ridicules us with dark times.
she had no problem facing the night.
on my best days I am my mother's child.
a miraculous contradiction.
the wineskin of my stomach is full of God's tears.
I am flood.  I am ark.
I am the one prayed for.  I am one praying for others.

we are all round stories in worlds that flatten them down
but there are too many of you to keep your voices low
too many of you
to keep them down
there's room enough to hear you all on our docket today

remember this 
when it is inconvenient to house the resistance song in your throat
remember this
when your hands would practice retreat
we need people who are willing to get uncomfortable for change
we need giants.  imperfect.  holy.
men and women who break the mold.

To contact Ayinde via email: Ayindetecca@gmail.com

Twitter: @ayindetecca

Facebook: facebook.com/ayinderussell