Back in the days of curly scrunch socks with frills and hair bows made of ribbon, there was a song the women in my church used to sing whenever there was a ladies’ function.
“Pass me not oh gentle savior” was how it started but my friends and I would replace the long a sound with a ‘ha’ to fully capture how the West-Indian women pronounced the word ‘savior.’ We could afford to ridicule- most of our pretty church attire came from the work that our mothers, aunts and play grandmas had done during the week. We were young then and obnoxious, more concerned with how patois made every word sound different than the message of the actual song.
Perhaps as a small form of karma, the song came into my head this week when an opportunity I was sure was perfect slipped out of my hands. I was furious and frustrated with myself and with well, everyone. And with God.
No matter what you believe in, we all have had times where we wanted to look up and go, “Yo, seriously right now?” And as taboo as it was to talk about growing up, I know all those women who were washing feet come communion or drinking wine and the baby holy bread did too. They just never said it aloud. And so we, their daughters, stayed silent too.
The thing about containment is that when you hold back from speaking to what is bothering you, you will release that frustration on something else. And the redirection is pointless because it leads back to the same problem- I just don’t understand.
Not understanding is hard for girls like us. Girls who ask “why” are the ones who want to know what that paragraph meant. They want to deconstruct that film, listen to that song they feel so much until they hate the very sound. Girls like us, we give it everything, we come correct and always with questions. Girls like us keep “why” on our lips and hips and before anyone can spread either- we wedge it between and stand waiting. We need the answer, not just an answer, but we need the one.
That song came into my head because it upended everything I believed about faith. Why should I have to be begging God to keep from walking past me, why was I always feeling like I was seeing his back? When you feel that angry, it’s hard to believe in anything. It’s easier to just let go of the coattails, sit there and think, “I guess I’ll just wait then.”
But girls like us, who often ask “why” we often miss the point. When we see opportunities pass by, we shouldn’t sit they sulking and pondering, we should be alert and ready to see where it will lead. Purpose doesn’t turn it’s back, but it will take you down a path you’d never dream. Instead of wondering why you are being passed by, pick yourself up and follow its lead. Think about it: if this chance was not the one and it seemed so right, it means the next chance on the way is tailor made.
Today, know that the chances that pass us by are nothing compared to what is ahead. Understand that purpose never turns its back, it simply goes before. Get back on your feet and get ready to follow where it leads.