Strength when strength is NEEDED: The wisdom of Rev Dr. Kirk Byron Jones and clear creativity of Domingo Ulloa


“Racism/Incident at Little Rock” Domingo Ulloa, 1957

(My “Jazz of Preaching” and Howard Thurman professor and hero, Rev Dr Kirk Byron Jones posted the reflections below on his facebook page this morning. I pair them with this image by Domingo Ulloa, who many call the father of Chicano art. Immediately after seeing news clippings of the now iconic image of Elizabeth Eckford terrorized by a white mob as she tried to desegregate Little Rock’s Central High in 1957, the Mexican American artist living in Los Angeles painted this image of Eckford, not alone but linked with other black students…clarity leads to creativity according to Rev Kirk. And as he reminds us in #6, we have no idea the strength we are capable of when we stand together in times of need, with literal arms linked and/or by way of clear and creative expressions of solidarity from L.A. to Little Rock.)

Some Pastoral Presidential Election Reflections

1. If your candidate was not elected, be disturbed, dismayed, and even disgusted, but choose not to be destroyed.

2. Amid the personal and social fallout, protect your soul. Take moments to rest in the storm. Rest leads to peace. Peace leads to clarity. Clarity leads to creativity.

3. Pray for all. Prayer moistens the heart for hope and journeying on through it all.

4. As your spirit allows, face the unsettling truths surfaced by this campaign and election with fresh humility, honesty, and courage.

5. Tell our children to listen, learn, and look to participate in a democracy that is an ongoing work in process.

6. Be encouraged. Sometimes you don’t know the strength you have until you need to have it.

7. Believe that there is an Eternal Force beyond temporary feelings forever making all things new.

Kirk Byron Jones

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