No sun will shine in my day today
The high yellow moon won’t come out to play
Darkness has covered my light
And has changed my day into night
Where is the love to be found?
Won’t someone tell me, cause life, sweet life, got to be
Out there somewhere for me
Instead of this concrete jungle
What do you got for me?
In this here concrete jungle
Why won’t you let me be free?
No chains around my feet,
But I’m not free
I know I am bound here in captivity
I’ve never known what happiness is
I’ve never known what sweet caress is
Still… I’ll be always laughing like a clown
In this here concrete jungle… ~Bob Marley
Growing up in the concrete jungle, these words echoed in my aching soul. Is this all life is? Grow up, get money, buy stuff, get old, die. All along the way lies a trail of broken hearts, messed up relationships, unwanted children, damaged people with no place to call a home. Violence, greed, bitterness, backbiting gossip, it was almost too much for me to bear.
I heard these words like the voice of the prophet, and my heart was stirred to get out.
Life, real life had to be out there somewhere for me, instead of this so called life. I had no desire to be successful or get some high paying career. I just wanted to love people and be together.
One love… one heart… Let’s get together and feel alright…
Smoking “herb” became a religion for me, my “anger management program,” I would call it… “the healing of the nations.” I wanted to be a part of “the movement of Jah people” … “Where are we going?” I would ask along the way, although few of us really had any clue. But I continued to find ways to support my “burning” desire to numb the pain. Every time the show was over, we all went home, back to school, back to work, back to the street. “What are we doing here?”
I was so determined to go all the way, to where those words were leading us. I started reading books and articles about Rastafari, Hailie Sallasie, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh… searching for the truth, I wanted to believe so bad, “What is it? What does it all mean? The more I found out, the more questions I had about Shashamani, twelve tribes, repatriation, etc., etc.. I would go to different events and seek out the “elders” or those who seemed to be devout, living “ital”… I needed clear direction for my life. I finally got in my car and went on reggae tour searching for something to pour my life into, or maybe I just needed friends, or maybe I was just looking for a party. All I knew was, I had to have the truth. I heard that once… “Know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Who said that?
Anyway, I was not content, and reality hit me pretty hard when I found myself on the side of the highway, up against a car, pregnant with a rastaman’s baby. “What am I doing?” This isn’t who I am… I’m not a drug dealer… I don’t want to go to jail… I just want to be where my friends are… Where were my friends, anyways?
After that I decided to settle down a bit. After all I was pregnant and I needed to have something to give to this baby.
He said he loved me, that I belonged to him, he desired me to have his child and my starving heart just gobbled it up. I needed to be needed. No one had ever desired me before.
I observed the women who seemed to be righteous, dressing modestly, covering their locks, and I imitated what I saw. They seemed so respectable. I had found an image for myself. I liked who I seemed to be. But, years went by, and my rastaman was very much other than what he had seemed to be at first. My heart was broken time and time again after he came and left over and over. Where is the love? Two sons and a daughter later, he was nowhere to be found.
Why don’t we heed the voice of the prophet? Why can’t we just get together and be alright? These children were in need of a home, a purpose, a father. I saw my life and the path I had chosen. I had rebelled against the tide of society, but I had no direction to go. I had tried to escape the sin that had destroyed my parents before me, but I found myself deeper into a dark pit of iniquity.
Darkness has covered my light and has changed my day into night…
I realized I had been seeking some fantasy of what I had hoped it would be like to be a part of the mystical “Jah people.” They seemed to be beautiful, peaceful people who had some sense of purpose. But what’s with all the selfishness, gossip, adultery, violence, alcohol and drug use and all the things I thought we were being called out of? And where’s the prophet? Oh yeah, he’s dead.
Who am I? I just wanted to know what I was living for. Because if this confusion is what life is, I don’t think I want to be alive any more.
GOD! WHO ARE YOU? IF YOU ARE OUT THERE…PLEASE! TAKE OVER MY LIFE…I’LL GO WHEREVER YOU WANT ME TO GO…I’LL DO WHATEVER YOU WANT ME TO DO…PLEASE! SAVE THESE CHILDREN!!!
There I was, sitting in darkness and a great light appeared, a ray of hope shone brightly in my heart when I heard about a people living together, caring for one another. Words became flesh when I met the people who had love and compassion in their eyes.
They made a home for us.
They told me about a man. The most wonderful man who ever walked the earth. He was the man who spoke those words that I had heard so long ago…
If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31-32)
This is what my heart had longed for. A place where I could do what was in my heart, to love, to abide in the truth and be what I was created to be.
I heard about how Yahshua walked with His disciples, they were always together. Caring for each other, speaking the truth in love was a daily life for them. And then, He paid the ultimate price to show the whole world what the power of love really is — to forgive.
When I heard that this man loved so much that He died for me, all I could do was surrender. I was forgiven. I found the love that never leaves. Love found me and brought me home.
Day by day, I’m being set free from all the death producing ways that held me captive all my life. The spirit of confusion had been like chains around me, holding me down, keeping me from doing what I was created to do… Love with an undying love.
There is a holy people. They are moving. Moving out of this wicked and perverse age.
They are a nation of twelve tribes, set apart for a special purpose. They hear the voice of the prophet saying, “Love one another, forgive your brothers, care for your children, be faithful to your wives, die to yourself.” And they are doing it, they are moving in that direction.
We are coming to know the God of heaven and earth by loving one another, the way Yahshua loved us, and He is saving our souls from death. Hope is living on the earth. Love has a home. Faith has an address. Come and see.
~ Lebanah (faithful witness)