Wifey sent me this poem as an encouragement for today. I enjoy Countee Cullen, though it’s been a long time since I’ve read his poetry. In fact, this “woke” generation would find inspiration and insight from the writers and thinkers of the Harlem Renaissance, New Negro, and Negritude movements of the era. I think we’d find many are not all that “woke” and being “woke” ain’t all that new. But that’s another blog post. Today, I just wanted to share this gospel- and culture-inspired work from Cullen, “Simon the Cyrenian Speaks.” It’s a good poetic example of thinking about the scripture in deeply personal, existential, cultural, ethnic, theological and faithful ways.

He never spoke a word to me,
And yet He called my name;
He never gave a sign to me,
And yet I knew and came.
At first I said, “I will not bear
His cross upon my back;
He only seeks to place it there
Because my skin is black.”

But He was dying for a dream,
And He was very meek,
And in His eyes there shone a gleam
Men journey far to seek.

It was Himself my pity bought;
I did for Christ alone
What all of Rome could not have wrought
With bruise of lash or stone.

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Thabiti M Anyabwile

Thabiti M Anyabwile

Thabiti is one of the pastors of Anacostia River Church in Washington, DC and the president of The Crete Collective. He is the author of several books and as an introvert enjoys quiet things at home.

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