“Let this be recorded for future generations, so that a people not yet born will praise the Lord. Tell them the Lord looked down from His heavenly sanctuary. He looked down to earth from heaven to hear the groans of the [oppressed], to release those condemned [till death].” Psalm 102:18-19, NLT
“Looking Down To Lift Us Up!”
In his timeless poem, In These Times, poet James Russell Lowell says, “God [stands] in the shadows, caring for His own.” This is a fundamental truth found in the scriptures, and it inevitably realizes its veracity in the events of life. Exactly to the date of the event that occurred some 241 years earlier, a small group of people gathered in the quiet Massachusetts town of Sheffield, to unveil the bronze stature of an amazing Black woman who turned the tides of history. On a warm Sunday, August 21, 2022, the town honored Elizabeth Freeman, who on August 21, 1781, singularly abolished slavery in Massachusetts in a case she brought before the court, and for which the jurors reached a unanimous verdict that “slavery was unconstitutional.” The Massachusetts Constitution stated in 1780 that, “All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights.” Of course, the constitution in its enumeration meant “all people.” This abolition of slavery preceded the Emancipation by over 80 years. Like other men and women freed from slavery, she gave herself the name “Elizabeth Freeman.” The story of Ms. Freeman, or Mumbett, as she was known in the town of Sheffield, should be told and retold to successive generations. Ms. Freeman could not read or write, but she “heard” the Constitution read, and she retained in her mind, spirit, and soul, the words “all... are born free and equal…” She walked seven miles to retain a lawyer who could assert her complaint and represent her in court. David says, “God looked down to earth from heaven to hear the groans of the [oppressed].” We need to know that God will never forsake His children. Justice will come, because God does show up. God comes down, is here, to lift us up!