I Heard the Gullah/Geechee Queen Pray One Day
There are a myriad of blessings that I have received each year of “Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week” especially on “Gullah/Geechee Famlee Day.” This was no different on yesterday. I was blessed with gifts from as far away as Ghana sent to me by a king and as close as my own island and Charleston as people that had a heart and mind to give presented me with things that they thought I would want. I give thanks since as the adage goes, “You didn’t have to do it, but you did.” I always appreciate any gift that someone gives me.
As beautiful as the statues and dolls are and as enriching as the Jamaican homemade drinks were to my body and the books were to my mind, there was one thought that fed my soul-“I am here because I heard Queen Quet, the Gullah/Geechee Queen, pray one time.” One of my security officers brought this message to me after he met some folks from New York City here on St. Helena and asked them what brought them here. I said to him, “Gullah/Geechee Famlee Day, right?” He said, “She said, ‘I heard her pray one time.” A few minutes later after walking off and coming back, he repeated this with a smile on his face that I knew radiated from within his soul. He then said, “Queen, you don’t know how you are impacting people whenever you get up there and speak.” His tone and look made me stand there without even shaking my head as I pondered whether he was asking or telling me this. In either case, I was taking in the impact that one prayer had on someone. A prayer that was so memorable, it didn’t matter what the cost of gas or a plane ticket or whatever is, this lady made a journey here to support the work or did she come to support the woman-the queen that she heard pray?
As this dialogue came back to my mind again in the midnight hour, I found myself shaking my head saying to myself, “That is a beautiful thing to remember, but she has no idea the prayers and conversations that GOD and I have daily. I hope that GOD hears me when I pray.”
I especially pray that my living and work are NOT in vain.
I rest assured that those that watch my life from a distance or that were even at the celebration would wonder why I pray that way. However, this evening I came to treasure the biblical story of the lepers that I have heard all my life. (Keep in mind that I am native Gullah/Geechee raised in the Bible belt.) As many times as I’ve read it and heard it preached, I didn’t feel as if I had experienced it until this moment. I watched folks gain what they wanted to gain and then simply walk away. At the end of the day, one came and walked over to say, “Thank you.” Others simply drove away. So, for them, I had to pray. I had to pray for a generation that didn’t think that the manners that I am accustomed to folks having on the Sea Islands was worth extending before their departure. Yes, I pray that my living and work are not in vain.
I also rest assured that the many things that I can attest to that were surely answers to prayers over the years means that GOD does hear me. I pray GOD heard my prayers tonight and not only remembers them as the lady did, but answers them.
No one came over to me to tell me the same story in person that my security officer heard, but his recounting of it was sufficient for me to know that I had at least touched one person in my lifetime. I touched her enough that she made an investment just to celebrate with me. I appreciate her for that. I appreciate GOD for letting me know that there is someone like her out there that remembers me because she heard me pray.
To GOD be the glory! AMEN. Asé!