Last week my Bible study group talked through Psalm 35-37 and how oppressed people feel (David being criminalized and on the run) and how to relate to people feeling that way. David says in 35:11, “Malicious witnesses testify against me, They accuse me of crimes I know nothing about.” I thought of Archie Williams, a Black man who was in prison for 37 years for a crime he didn’t commit. He had no hope of getting out until the Innocence Project proved him innocent. In prison, he said he’d sing to stay connected to his soul and refused to accept being a prisoner.
Archie is free now. David says in Psalm 37:6, “He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.” If you watch Archie sing, he does shine and he returns to an America where Black people are treated cruelly in broad daylight.
Sabbath afternoon, I read a post from a friend who is Black and has beat the odds in so many ways. From where I sit, he appears successful, as if he’s conquered all the roadblocks I knew thwarted his path. But I’m not seeing everything. He described being falsely accused of theft at department stores, so he now buys clothes online. He takes his dog and kids on walks so he’s perceived as a family man, not a criminal. And these are the more palatable examples from his life.
I’ve begun asking Jesus what I can do to bring healing to Black people around me and across America. I want to be like Abigail, ministering to David when he was on the run from Saul and needing help, even when I stand to lose something. Abigail could have obeyed her husband and justified not helping David, but she didn’t. She helped the helpless, the falsely accused, the outcast.
May we do the same.
1 Sam. 25