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Ministry Matters

Please understand that I, in NO way, condone thug-life, gangs, gang activity and the likes of anything derogatorily associated with any of that.  However, my passion to enlighten and inspire through written expression was restless until I shared this post. The message will, hopefully, give “pause” to some of the misconceptions that exist when it comes to the true identities of those who chose a path unlike ours.  Whether at some point, living socially, ethically, or morally unacceptable, like most of us, they later alter that path and inevitably allow God to use them for His greater good.  Here goes….

I posted this comment on Instagram (IG), in response to a post by actor/singer/songwriter/comedian, Jamie Foxx, about the tragic death of rapper/activist, Nipsey Hussle:

@iamjamiefoxx Wow. I, too, am questioning so much regarding this beautiful soul who I didn’t even know existed. I’m now intrigued by his existence, proud of the man he was, and saddened by his physical presence being taken away, but God knows ALL! Generationally, I missed being a part of his journey–his talent, his drive, the impact that he made on his community and this world. However, it is crystal clear that the spirit of his existence, the power of his influence and the soul of this vessel will live forever. He had risen above what so many of us haven’t even started to understand. Rest in sweet peace, Nipsey. You have sparked generations to live this life differently by your tapping into having and living purpose in this life. Blessings to the family, friends and all of those who are connected to his journey. Beautiful song!

Wow…I don’t remember ever taking the time to comment on some celebrity’s page in this manner before.  It’s just something about the spirit–the raw soul of this dude that captivates me.  So, I guess my marathon of learning and mourning continues with these very amateur poetic words …

So, where do I possibly begin? I wasn’t even aware of his existence, but he quickly felt like my spiritual friend

I thought, Who is this dude?? Are you talking about Nipsey Russell?!? Oh no…He died years ago.  This guy’s name is Nipsey Hussle!

And so the journey started, and what a few weeks this has been Google’ing to learn more about his life had me in a thought-worthy tailspin

How could millions know that this young black man was so great? Yet, his name was foreign to me…an unfortunate mishap; an unconscious escape

You see, he was part of a hip hop culture that doesn’t always get nor deserve a fair shake The hardcore lyrics and thumping beats represent a real lifestyle—It’s not fake

Although mixtapes and rap music were his initial claim to fame His true, unapologetic love for his community is boldly carrying his name

It is simply amazing what some of us have learned about this rare soul of a young man Guess he wasn’t a thug, as change for the city of LA was in the grasp of his hand

He had so much depth to his journey—He was so much more than “street” Older generations are now seeing why fans treasured more than his rhymes and beats

He was much like a minister, in his own right Leading the flock, teaching them to have a better life and restructuring the fight

His legacy wasn’t built on making money to possess lavish material goods He shared his wealth and wisdom to raise the mindset of his people–his hood

His intellect, strength, bravery, purpose, height and lanky structure Were all a part of his God-given identity, so he stayed true to himself and his culture

He surely seemed to care less about winning any sort of musical crossover appeal In his authenticity, he remained focused on his message and purpose to heal

Although for some, the magnitude of his existence wasn’t widely known Lots of new fans tuned in for his Celebration of Life—a send-off to his heavenly home

Yep, I am that older generation, yet so intrigued by his activism, which was his glory Still, how could I have completely missed this man who absolutely lived his story?

The man who rocked cornrows, a beard, and piercing eyes—He was simply light He was indeed a giant among men, but it wasn’t because of his height

He stood tall and bravely to carry out his purpose here on this earth Nip has left a clear vision for us to nurture what he, with God, gave birth

As I still read, watch videos and converse about his being I continue to be amazed, but it’s a bittersweet feeling

Have we really processed what we truly lost? Has it resonated clearly, that Nipsey Hussle was definitely a “Boss”?

I mean, in every sense of that 4-letter word . . . No matter how he grew up, nor the profanity in conversation or lyrics that we heard

He had it! He used it! He shared it! He spoke it! He lived it! Well, what about us? Will we leave a legacy of love, selflessness, mission, and truth without a fuss?

We may not be celebrities with thousands or millions of dollars to share But if we don’t do ‘mo’ better, it’ll be our cross to bear

Let’s commit to something other than ourselves and be a little more like Nip His amazing Victory Lap can be our motivational and “do-something” road trip

Wow, I’ve soaked in so much about what all this could possibly mean Obviously, his job on this earth was complete, but he didn’t get to finish his dream

Although the physical vessel, fondly known as Hussle, is now gone The beauty of his spirit, love of community, and passion of his purpose will live on and on and on…

I pray that the aura of Nipsey is forever present in our space For it is clear that he knew God–The One who sent him to a better place

I hope that he is busy, making moves out of heaven’s many venues Watching the beauty of his work, and saying proudly, The Marathon Continues!

A song titled “Dear God”, sung soul-stirringly by Smokie Norful, fittingly accompanied the IG post by Jamie Foxx.  However, lyrics of a song, titled “You Are My Ministry”, by TD Jakes, featuring Shirley Murdock, has rattled sweetly in my spirit. Although it was written as a couple’s love song, these lyrics (below) emulate Nipsey’s ministry and the love that he had for his Crenshaw community in South Central, Los Angeles.  His ministry wasn’t carried out in the walls of brick and mortar, a tent or the likes thereof. God gave him a different place to “church” his people–the streets of LA, impacting the entire world!

You are my ministry

You are my “help meet to”

When I think about loving myself

I think about loving you

You are my “do me right”,

My spiritual song in the night

A special part of me, my ministry

Rest in power and sweet peace, champion. You, indeed, were a chosen messenger—a foot soldier for the ages. Thanks for sacrificing self, for standing in your truth, to be a catalyst to help us rise above stereotypical conclusions of our “wrappings” and the generalization of attaching our intellectual trimmings to a “hood.” I pray that the unique energy that you brought to this universe will continue to bring about much-needed change; much-needed empowerment; much-needed peace. Your name, Ermias (God will rise), is a testament to your purpose-driven life. The memory of you is a reminder to all of us that God can do anything!

A message for us…. What’s our ministry? It doesn’t have to be wrapped in a traditional package, but it certainly has to be authentic, purposed to do good, to impact positive change, to share even a glimmer of light to those who need it—ALL of whom are God’s children! We can change something about our life to change a life.  We can use our life to give life. There’s no time better than now to do so, as this is the season in which we celebrate The Risen Christ. He made the ultimate sacrifice, so that we could live more abundantly and have everlasting life through Him. Thank you, Jesus, for choosing life for us! Thank God for Jesus!! Enough said! 🙂

Check out Dear God (link below) — It will bless your soul! Promise 🙂

Peace & Blessings,

Lisa B

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