A Poem by the Rev. Lyda Pierce

We all come from Africa.
So the DNA says, and archaeology.
We all come from Africa;
Walking, floating, flying,
Fleeing, hoping, exploring;

We came across continents and seas,
Ice, oceans, deserts, and mountains.
We never came on our own,
Even if, we traveled alone.

We left family, hoping to bring them later.
We brought family, to make a new life.
We followed family who’d gone before
And made a place for us.
We were torn from family,
Brought in chains,
Leaving our hearts in another land.

We were welcomed,
We were scorned,
We were pushed aside,
We were afraid,
And we hoped.

We learned of God
From family, from stories,
From the Spirit with us,
From ritual,
From the land.
But the land changed,
As we moved,
And we had to find God
In the new land.

Do we remember God in the old land?
Do we remember God traveling with us?
Can we see God
With those who have come more recently?
Or have I fashioned a god who looks like me
In the new land?

The Rev. Lyda Pierce serves as director of Hispanic/Latino Ministries for the Pacific Northwest Conference Office of Connectional Ministries.

Photo Credit: Rev. Paul Jeffrey

About the Photo: Women in war-torn South Sudan
After working together in a community garden, women sing and dance as they walk home on April 12, 2017, atop a dyke they constructed to control flooding around Dong Boma, a Dinka village in South Sudan’s Jonglei State. Most of the women’s families recently returned home after being displaced by rebel soldiers in December, 2013, and they face serious challenges in rebuilding their village while simultaneously coping with a drought which has devastated their cattle herds.

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