Words Are Not Enough: Song for Freedom, Ferguson

Where's the Spirit?

To today
by Rev. C. Perry Dougherty

What we do:
We bear witness to the insidious trauma of racism, classism, and otherization;
We confront fear, violence, and the militarization of our humanity;
We fight with our grief and anger;
We flee from our tenderness and vulnerability;
We grapple with privilege;
We crave position;
Until finally, for a fleeting moment, we let go.
Without posturing for power, we stand strong and still.
There, now, some kind of inner freedom we know.
A deep connection in our pain;
I am me through you, and
there are no words that will reveal the truth
so much as singing that freedom song we hear within.

Each week, we seek spirit in the world by searching for voices and expressions of spiritual yearning, learning, and teaching. This week, there has been a lot published on the racial tensions unfolding in Ferguson, and around the United States. We are touched by the peaceful protest, the nonviolent action, and the inspired voices of social change. And, as we are moved, we know that healing comes best when we join together to create safe spaces for story, connection, and understanding. The vibrational and healing energy of song can helps us create the safe spaces we deeply need today. So, we sing:

Ella's Song
by Sweet Honey in the Rock

Ella’s Song was composed by Bernice Johnson Reagon and published by Songtalk Publishing Co.

Ella's Song Lyrics:

Refrain:
We who believe in freedom cannot rest
We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes
Verses:
Until the killing of Black men, Black mothers’ sons
Is as important as the killing of White men, White mothers’ sons
And that which touches we most is that I had a chance to work with people
Passing on to others that which was passed on to me
To me young people come first, they have the courage where we fail
And if I can shed some light as they carry us through the gale
The older I get the better I know that the secret of my going on
Is when the reins are in the hand of the young who dare to run against the storm
Not needing to clutch for power, not needing the light just to shine on me
I need to be just one in the number as we stand against tyranny
Struggling myself don’t mean a whole lot I come to realize
That teaching others to stand up and fight is the only way my struggle survive
I’m a woman who speaks in a voice and I must be heard
At time I can be quite difficult, I’ll bow to no man’s word