Nina Simone was a bird, light and feathery, hollow bone and morning glory, and with a broken wing. She could not leave the ground, no matter how hard she fought, but she was still able to teach others to fly.
“So I run to the Lord
Please hide me, Lord
Don’t you see me prayin’?
Don’t you see me down here prayin’?
But the Lord said
Go to the Devil, the Lord said
Go to the Devil
He said go to the Devil
All on that day
So I ran to the Devil
He was waitin’, I ran to the Devil”
We each want a purpose, one glorious, fulfilling, a purpose that raises us up, makes us known, beloved, maybe wealthy, yet the crushing of reality reminds us that possibly, maybe probably, our greatest life, our truest mission, is in the lifting up of others, helping them to fly.
How we respond to this weighty blessing — part affliction, part superpower — fully reveals who we are.