Several months ago, I attended a black-tie gala honoring several people for their leadership and contributions toward “clearing a pathway to political and economic empowerment for people of color.” That night, Senator Cory Booker received the organization’s highest award for his civic contributions, “an exemplar of change, progress and coalition-building across racial lines.”
Senator Booker is the only reason I attended the evening event – after a 10-hour workday. The Senator is why I paid someone else to kiss my babies goodnight and endured another mass-produced chicken dinner camouflaged under fancy garnishes. Did I mention the torrential thunderstorm that cracked open the sky just as the dinner ended? Just for you, Senator!
Why? Simple curiosity. I’m not a fan or a foe. I just wanted to see the Political Unicorn with my own eyes.
Senator Booker was the last to speak … on the four-hour program. The other guests at my table, having heard the Senator speak at other functions, said his speech was canned. However, we all agreed that his intonation was slightly different. This night he didn’t sound like the Newark mayor running for re-election or the democratic ally stumping for Obama. This night Senator Booker sounded like a presidential candidate. I’m outta here.
I didn’t want to hear a stump speech. I wanted to hear something – different. I wanted to hear something that would explain how he made history, explain why New Jersey knighted him. I wanted to hear the unspoken words- the intonation- that said he understood the social and cultural significance of his position.
As I whispered my goodbyes and other obligatory pleasantries, the Senator said something that bought him another 10 minutes of my time. He described his parents meager but love–rich upbringing. They were both raised by communities that watered and supported their dreams, permitting them to make their own noteworthy contributions in corporate America. He shared affectionate and comedic snippets from conversations with his dad. Daddy Booker was quoted by his son:
“But for them, there would be no you.”
When the senator-to-be got to full of himself- “Don’t act like you hit a triple. You were born on third base.”
“You have more degrees than the month of July, but you ain’t hot. What are you going to do with your life?”
Describing the community that willed his parent’s success and subsequently the Senator’s success: “Son, you are the physical manifestation of a conspiracy of love.”
I walked out thinking that Daddy Booker should’ve been up there giving the speech. I chewed on his words to his Statesman son with a bit of envy under my tongue. And then I heard the sweetest words drop into my spirit.
Baby Girl—(that’s what He calls me) YOU are the physical manifestation of a conspiracy of love.
Overcome by God’s seemingly sudden presence, His sensitivity to and mindfulness of me, and His expressed affection, I cried the entire ride home, which has got to be worse than texting while driving.
Conspiracy. To conspire. To scheme, plot and connive. To manipulate events, things or people for a desired result. To make secretive plans jointly with harmful or disruptive intent. To conspire. Conspirator. These characteristics are incongruent with the Jesus I am continually getting to know.
It’s true. We, not just me and the Senator, but we are the physical manifestation of the greatest conspiracy ever- a conspiracy crafted and executed in love. Satan crafted a plan to separate us from the Father. But the Father had a better plan- a death defying plan written in blood to undue, circumvent, and subvert Satan’s plan. The US from Genesis 1:26, who made us (you and me) in Their image, made secretive plans to correct the problem created at the tree (Genesis 3:6). The Father, Son and Holy Spirit appointed the years and the seasons, used prophets and the ordinary to disrupt, overturn and place the enemy of your soul under foot forever (Revelation 20:10).
I don’t know what They said in private, but I know how it played out. Jesus agreed to be our Kinsman Redeemer. He laid down His life—it was not taken from Him (John 10:18). And in His divine authority and power, He picked it back up. And in so doing, we are able to access the Father and share in the benefits of sonship. Holy Spirit was assigned to stay with us, live with us, live in us if we let Him. Acknowledging His presence and heeding His counsel allows us to walk in a force field, of sorts. Think Star Trek, but better, stronger.
Yes, They conspired, schemed, plotted and jointly planned to disrupt Satan’s plan to destroy your family, kill your children, breakdown your body, plague you with fear, steal your dreams, stir up chaos around you, crush your hope, create unnatural appetites, and assault your senses. Yes, They manipulated events and moved the hearts of men to see Their plan come to fruition.
The omniscient, omnipresent and sovereign Lord made a play for you and won. In His everlasting love for you, He conspired to remove every wedge, bridge and hurt between you. He loves you!
Isaiah 43: 1-7
1 But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob; he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire,you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.
6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
SCRIPTURES REFERENCED ABOVE
Genesis 3:6 NIV, When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
Revelation 20:10, And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
John 10:18 NIV, No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”