Willie Mae Samuel

Willie Mae Samuel, founder and director of the African American Connection for the Performing Arts in Rome

It is always good to leave the spiritual topics to the experts in our community, and many we do have, but this idea just rested in my head for a while and would not leave.

As we wait for our spanking spoon, our minds should take us back to the Hebrew children and how the Prophet Habakkuk was very troubled by God’s inaction. Today many of us remember when our parents and our spiritual leaders would say, “Now, child, you just do not question God.” Many of us felt guilty when the thought of questioning God entered our minds. We felt so guilty that we would look around to see who heard our thoughts. Habakkuk felt no shame to his game. He just opened his mouth and asked God straight up, “Lord, where are you while all of these terrible things are happening?” He gave God a railing. He said, “You, Lord, are just sitting there and doing nothing as evil ploughs through our homes, families and our city, wreaking havoc.” He was just fed up with God and continued to repeat himself by saying. “You are sitting there while destruction, violence and conflict rule.”

There was no shame to Habakkuk’s game. After he finished with his meltdown, God gave him time to wait for the answer. After some time had passed God decided to answer him. Many times when we think God is doing nothing, he is working the hardest in our situation. Today as we look around in our city, county, state and country, we may ask ourselves where God is in it all. For people who do not believe in God, his apparent inactivity makes them say, “See, I told you that there is no God. If there is a God, why is he allowing these things to happen?” Nonbelievers do not understand those who believe because it is all about faith.

After a seven-year drought, fires are burning California to rubble, hurricanes and floods are washing away the East Coast, tornadoes are showing up in places where they are unheard of and snow is covering areas this fall like never before. Mass killings, race-hating and corruption scandals are taking the front seat. Deeds and acts that once took place in dark alleys are now taking place on front streets. Where is God in it all? Man can do nothing about the natural situations that are happening. With the seven seas and all the lakes, rivers and streams, man has no means of containing the raging fires or stopping the winds and rain. With all of the technology, man cannot stop the devastation that is taking place around us.

If we would take courage or the boldness from Habakkuk and ask God the same question, I am sure he would give us the same answer that he gave the prophet. He told Habakkuk that he was allowing the Babylonians to get strong so that he could allow them to be used as his spanking spoon. He said that he was giving the Hebrews time to get themselves right and follow his righteous laws. We know how the story goes. Israel did not get it right and God used the Babylonians as his spanking spoon. With God on their side, the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and left it a burning pile of debris, with the gates hanging off the hinges and the walls torn down. The city was left open with no protection.

Is God allowing our spanking spoon to get ready for our demise? Our churches are full on Sundays with worshipers and so called believers who are looking the other way instead of turning to our helper, our advocate and our strong arm of protection for guidance. Are we a part of the evil that is charging through our communities?

Are we dealing with guilty men who believe their strength is their God? Are we dealing with men who say that we are the good ones and God will not let pagans, heathens, evil and vile people destroy us? Wrong. That is exactly what God will do. He can use any force to be his spanking spoon. The question for us is will it be China, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Russia or our own homegrown terrorists?

There are many who would say that since we are a godly country, God will not let his children be destroyed. Wrong again. How many times did the Israelites get shellacked by other nations? The number is too numerous to count. God always gives us time to get it right, but it is later than we think.

Willie Mae Samuel is a playwright and a director in Rome.

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