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Dear Beloved: Someday We’ll All Be Free

By Chardonnay Beaver


Dear Beloved,


Did you know that in 1973, American singer, songwriter, and musician Donny Hathaway released his album Extension of a Man? The second song on the album is titled “Someday We’ll All Be Free.” The hopeful lyrics and uplifting melody marked the song as a classic, and it was later referenced as an anthem for the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.


Brighter days will soon be here, take it from me someday we’ll all be free. Just wait and see, someday we’ll all be free.


According to Edward Howard, who wrote the song lyrics, “Someday We’ll All Be Free” was intended to be an anthem in support of Hathaway, who was coping with declining mental health.


“Donny was a very troubled person. I hoped that at some point he would be released from all that he was going through,” Howard said. “There was nothing I could do but write something that might be encouraging for him.”


Similar to Howard, I write this letter to encourage you and tell you that freedom lies ahead for all of us. However, freedom will cost you your time and comfort. One way to embark on the path of freedom is by beginning to ask yourself critical questions.


I believe the path to freedom will require us to reconcile with the unresolved.


Some may adopt patterns of complacency that leave them feeling trapped. They become comfortable by situating themselves in their personal dissatisfaction and regret. This route doesn’t lead to freedom — rather, to self-destruction.


On the contrary, some may fill their calendar with tasks to avoid self-awareness. Their accomplishments, goals, and duties begin to own them. They become trapped in a life of performance, rather than purpose. Thus, they are ineffective at treating others with care. Their social dynamic is fundamentally transactional, not relational. They look for “what’s next” because they’re trapped in a vicious cycle. They don’t see their value beyond their accomplishments. Contrary to our “hustle” work culture, this route also leads to self-destruction because it’s unsustainable and resistant to “true” fulfillment.


Beloved, one of greatest violations we can commit is against ourselves.


Freedom calls us to be courageous by sorting through our past failures with care and patience. Someday We’ll All Be Free is a journey that can start here.


Words of Wisdom by Char of the Week: Surrender to the promises of hope and freedom. Take the time to abandon the self-destructive patterns of complacency and performance that traps us. John 8:36


Seattle mural titled Another Lousy Day, May 25, 2013 © Frank H. Jump. The text circling mural states: “Another lousy day/Carelessly dreaming of hope/Daring to surrender to its promise/Whether not/Or in days approaching…It will come!” muralist unknown.

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