Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Harriet's Smile


Did you hear? Harriet Tubman smiled one night in December; I wish I could’ve seen it. I wish there was a photographer or sketch artist who could’ve captured it at the very moment when Momma Tubman smiled. I imagine the moment; she closed her eyes and stretched her arms to the cold December sky as she gave thanks to God. “I give you all the praises and all the glory dear Lord! Praise you Jesus!" Moses shouted as she looked across the field towards that land called Canaan. It wasn’t long ago when she was back in Dorchester County, Maryland. She went back to get her people. Harriet Tubman was determined to facilitate the manumission of her family members. She would eventually achieve that mission, but on Christmas Eve night in 1854 she would call upon two of her brothers Benjamin, 28 and Robert, 35. There were two other men and a woman from a nearby plantation, John Case, 20, Peter Jackson (age?), and Jane Kane, 22. The December air was cold, but they were all warm and brimming with thoughts of freedom. They heard the song:

“Steal away, steal away
Steal away to Jesus
Steal away, steal away
I ain't got long to stay here”

They quietly and expeditiously took their first steps towards freedom and left that old troubled world behind; I said they left that old troubled world behind and didn’t turn back as they slipped into the darkness of the Maryland woods. Now, freedom was more than a word, and Christmas carried a truer meaning; it meant FREEDOM. Harriet would make many trips to Maryland after this, but this was a glorious one. She was the conductor on that train to glory one December night. "Glory, Glory Hallelujah," Harriet shouted as she gave thanks to God and smiled. Merry Christmas.


Photo source: The Baltimore Sun
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