When I was a little girl
I used to ask, “Dad, what does ‘can I get a witness’ mean?”
Growing up in the church and listening to gospel music constantly. You hear it all the time.
I couldn’t quite grasp the concept. So I asked again and my dad would say, “Kristin… it means you are observing God’s work, in a sense. You are bearing witness to what that person is doing in His name, for His glory. Essentially they are asking you to testify if called upon by authority.”
Frustrated that I could not grasp it, I would ask over and over, afraid I missed something.
‘Witness’, derived from Middle and Old English, has verb and noun placements. Get a witness, bear witness, did I witness… I was plagued by it all.
As I got older, one day it struck me. Why did I always ask that question? And why did I always ask my dad?
Didn’t I want my mother’s take on the subject, too? My brothers and I usually hit her up for pocket change and badgered her to do stuff for us.
“Take us to this practice, mom!”
“Make sure my red shirt is clean, please, mom!”
“What are you cooking, mom? I’m starving!”
*Cue Stewie’s mom montage here* Mom. Mommy. Mum. etc.
I did not shy away from asking her for everything I needed under the sun.
Yet, why was I so slow to ask my mother for her thoughts?
That is not true, but I see her point. If I want to pull for my strength, or need words/thoughts to steady me. I go to my mother’s words immediately.
Neglectful, but in a different way. I was not seeing all of her.
I would use her words for strength, but not knowledge. I was slow to see her thoughts and mine as being just as potent.
Just as magical.
Just as fruit-bearing.
Just as brilliant.
These days, you see ‘Witness’ on a Nike shirt and think of Lebron James. And while he reigns as a powerful and talented black athlete worthy of a witness, let us not forget to ask his mother, wife, daughter and other black women for their thoughts as well.
I try not to let her or myself down now. I’m constantly asking myself, “Kristin, what are you witnessing? Now, write it down.”
You should ask yourself the same.
Or do you not think your thoughts are powerful as well?