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Chaplain Dinah: We Rise

Editor’s Note: In a nod to our Presbyterian heritage, we regularly feature a column from a PMMA® chaplain in our newsletter. This month’s column comes from Rev. Dinah Dutta, chaplain at Lawrence Presbyterian Manor®

The month of May brings memories of the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2022 will occur on Monday, May 30.

Many of our resident friends are sharing their thoughts and experiences of World War II since the war against Ukraine started. As a chaplain and pastor when I counsel people I hear a lot of anxiety and fear. Many wonder if there will there be a World War III. While we are getting ready to start a new normal after COVID, we are plunged into a different situation. How can we cope with all this?  

As a Christian believer, my faith encourages me to trust in the risen Christ and remember His word: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35, 38-39, NKJV).

My dear PMMA family, I want to encourage that no matter what goes around us we will rise. While I think of what it means to rise Maya Angelou’s encouraging poem, “I Rise” comes to my mind that I want to share with you. Let us continue to rise with hope, let us continue to remember those who sacrificed their lives to build this great nation. Let us Rejoice and Be Glad!

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may tread me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops.

Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don't you take it awful hard

'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines

Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I've got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame

I rise

Up from a past that's rooted in pain

I rise

I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

By Maya Angelou

Happy Memorial Day! Welcome Summer!

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