Blessing & Charge to the Graduates - Rev. Yolanda Norton
Lord I cannot preach like Martin Luther King, Jr. or turn a poetic phrase like Maya Angelou, but I care and am willing to serve.
I do not have Fred Shuttlesworth’s and Harriet Tubman’s courage or Franklin Roosevelt’s political skills but I care and am willing to serve.
I cannot sing like Fannie Lou Hamer or organize like Ella Baker and Bayard Rustin, but I care and am willing to serve.
I am not holy like Archbishop Tutu, forgiving like Mandela, or disciplined like Gandhi, but I care and am willing to serve.
I am not brilliant like Dr. Du Bois or Elizabeth Cady Stanton, or as eloquent as Sojourner Truth and Booker T. Washington but I care and am willing to serve.
I have not Mother Teresa’s saintliness, Dorothy Day’s love or Cesar Chavez’s gentle tough spirit but I care and am willing to serve…
My mind and body are not so swift as in youth and my energy comes in spurts but I care and am willing to serve.
I’m so young. Nobody will listen. I’m not sure what to say or do, but I care and am willing to serve.
I can’t see or hear well, speak good English, stutter sometimes and get real scared, standing up before others but I care and am willing to serve.
--MWE (Redacted from "I Care and Am Willing to Serve")
You have survived.
You have endured highs and lows.
Conquered papers and projects.
Persevered through sleepless nights.
You’ve been called to continue to live in community and care for family amidst this journey through theological education.
You have arrived at this moment of culmination and you deserve to celebrate.
Take in this moment. Do not rush by it.
But also remember that maybe now more than ever the world needs your voice, your gifts, your courage.
Seek the welfare of the city and beyond.
Care for the poor, the widow, the children, the disempowered, and the disenfranchised.
Never be complacent or apathetic about the suffering of this world.
And remember that no matter who you are God has given you more than enough to leave a positive mark on this world.
All you have to do is care and be willing to serve.
May God bless you as you do ministry however you have been called.
May you have peace and abundance, and may you share so that we can co-create beloved community.