Lessons with Uncle Tom: my depraved soul

If I am sitting still enough and paying attention, I can feel it. Maybe the opposite of a Heartburst, it is the hand of my mind and fingers of my soul reaching into my depths, searching for treasure.

It is a turning in the pit of my stomach, and it is brought on by taking in either the beauty of man’s humanity or the depravity of it.

Today, I believe, it is a little bit of both.

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Sojourner Truth, Abraham Lincoln, and so many more fought in their day against such depravity. They spoke, wrote, led a nation, all for the cause of justice.

In 6th grade I did a presentation on Sojourner, acting out various speeches in which she addressed the white man– in which she proclaimed, “Ain’t I a woman?”

The legacy of abolitionists reaches me today, 2012, in Arsaga’s Coffeeshop. Modern technology and thought surround me, yet I find myself in 1852, wondering who I am and what I stand for– and against.

I’ve heard the argument time and again that the human spirit has continued to become better over time. At least we don’t have the Colosseum anymore, right?

And yet, I’ve felt my heart engage in such evil.

The same heart that beats inside me both loves and hates, accepts and condemns, comforts and abuses. Perhaps it should work to become more like the soul of Mary Bird, who proclaims to her husband, “Now, John, I don’t know anything about politics, but I can read my Bible; and there I see that I must feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort the desolate; and that Bible I mean to follow.”

I must face the realization that I am still human, and therefore, still depraved. The hope inside of me sings out against the darkness, and daily I must choose the light.

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