The Map to Hope

“I’m lookin’ for the map to hope…you seen it?”

– NF (Hip Hop Artist)

I’ve been listening to NF a lot lately.

If you’re not familiar with his music, it’s known for having a moody, dark, yet refreshingly authentic vibe. NF deep dives into the roots of his emotional trauma, and does it in a way that is so creative and relatable that, in his own words, Even if you hate it I make you feel like you’re in it though.

Processing emotional trauma.

Yeah.

I can relate.

I’ve had to wrestle lately with the emotional trauma of being a young black man in America.

I don’t say that in anger, and I assure you that this isn’t going to be some vitriolic rant. But I won’t lie to you and say that I haven’t been sorely tempted to go in that direction…or worse.

Then again, part of that has been my own fault. I’ve been on social media too much. I’ve probably wasted too much time trying to convince some people that the trauma is real, that it’s not imagined, that it’s not something I’ve been spoon-fed by the media.

Only to be met with statistics that “prove” I’m not thinking rationally, or that I’m just being gullible.

See? Even now I’m getting distracted. Sorry about that.

Like I said, I’m in a wrestling match with my emotions right now, as is the vast majority of the black community. And it’s so tiring.

And as you can see, we’re responding in different ways. Some of which are admittedly wrong and counterproductive, yes. But truthfully, many of us are just struggling to find or hold onto some sense of hope.

It’s like hope is this far-off destination that we’re desperate to get to, but we feel like we’re lost. And in dire need of a map.

Because we’ve been down this road before. Over and over again.

And before you say it, I know that as a follower of Jesus, I technically have this map already. I appreciate the reminder.

But you can feel lost sometimes even if you have a map.

I guess what I’m really trying to get at is this. Some of us feel like we don’t have a map to hope at all. Others of us do have the right map, but it’s a little blurry right now looking at it through our tears. We’re in different places in the process right now.

Please, bear with us. Cry with us. Allow us space to be honest about our feelings, even if you disagree. A listening ear goes a long way in times like this.

To be honest, even writing this post has been therapeutic for me. And I’m grateful to God that He’s been patient as I clumsily navigate this process.

To quote from my map:

“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him.”

Lamentations 3:21-24 (KJV)

2 comments

  1. Great post son. Very well thought out and articulated. To me, it’s ur best post so far. Keep up the great work. There’s a book in ur future! By the way, I may borrow some of ur thoughts for Sunday’s message, “No Justice, No Peace”. Pray with and for me as I navigate our current political crises, racial tensions and reconcile them with the hope of Pentecost, on Pentecost Sunday.
    Much love,
    Dad

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