by MacArthur H. Flournoy
Co-Publisher/Founder Arise 2.0
Oakland–Somewhere between coffee, pancakes and Eggs Benedict, my good friend Chuck Jones and I began to speak from the heart about what’s going on in our lives. In the midst of the conversation, we began to speak with gratitude about the many gifts and blessings in our lives. The energy shifted and we became tearful, overwhelmed with gratitude calling to mind the valleys we’ve traveled.
Then it happened. Through the mysticism of spirituality, we conjured up God.
In the middle of breakfast at an Oakland café we experienced the mystery of what happens when two people share heart to heart.
There, we conjured up God. The greater truth is that anyone can evoke and invoke the presence of God, not through religion, but through the recognition that wherever we are, whoever we are – we embody the presence of God.
For some, conjuring is considered evil or demonic – particularly through the lens of Eurocentric culture. However, for people of African descent we know through invocation, speaking those things that be not as though they were and mysticism, conjuring God is an integral part of who we are.
As Chuck and I reflected on our lives, the distinct presence of the Ancient of Day emerged. We talked about the historic Invisible institution, the church in the woods that slaves created, under the threat of death to come together and conjure up God.
There, in the depth of night they summoned West African traditions, prayed, spoke incantations, praised, and spoke of a spirituality that did not advocate obedience to one’s master.
They conjured God.
Native people, and indigenous people of all cultures have conjured up God in a plurality of ways since the beginning of time.
Whether it’s a café over breakfast, at the ocean, in the mountains, in our showers – I hope we never forget that we can conjure God right where we are – exactly as we are.