30 Days of Heart: Day 12

Can you speak up and more clearly please?

My name is Johnny Walker and I speak Ghick.  What is Ghick you might ask? I’m from a family of Hicks in the Ghetto.  Let me try and explain.  My family is from Oak Cliff, TX.  If you are not familiar with it, it is a suburb of Dallas.  I say suburb, but it is a ghetto. (There are parts now that are up and coming from what I hear) I don’t mean in the cultural sense.  I mean in the poverty sense.  It was over run with violence and crime and when I was very young my parents decided to move us from there to central Grand Prairie, and then to Central Arlington, and finally to South Arlington.  I never seemed to fit in.  I was either too white, or spoke too black for people.  I never knew what that was as a kid, I just knew it hurt.  Now looking back it was very much that people taught a horrible ideology of Racism.  My father taught me that it wasn’t about the color of a man’s skin but that you are to do right by all people.

My family were hicks from the ghetto, so what came out in my speech was slow, mumbled, drawn-out slang. Part of the reason I am sharing my heart is that I have learned that the way I grew up was difficult, but it’s important in finding my purpose- one being to unify people, even if they are different or are headed in different directions.

I speak the way I speak because it is who I am, and not who I am around.  On that same point the people I was around where the coolest friends then, and they are even more amazing adults today.  I could go on and on telling stories of things I had to go through to either fight for people who couldn’t fight for themselves, or for myself to prove I wasn’t a mutt that some called me.  I mean I have both German and Native American blood in me.  I am not sure how much you know history but One killed minorities while the other killed White people.  I have been fighting a war that is within me my entire life that tells me I don’t belong.  It tells me that you are good for nothing and don’t fit in anywhere.  I am not going to go through my entire life story but I hope you get the point that I was a walking contradiction.

My wife was instrumental in telling me I was so important and even came up with the term Ghick and said I should be proud that is what I speak because at least I speak up for what I believe.  God used her to show me that I was going to unify.  She told me to think of myself as a ligament in a body.  You know the Christian saying that we are all part of the body of Christ?  Some are hands, some are feet, some are the mouth….but the ligament?  No one sees that.  She began to explain that a ligament in a joint holds two parts of an arm together going in opposite directions and helps them see they are part of the same body and not so different.

OK, I said.  I can go with that.  I began to realize that the things I went through and places I lived in life were not a negative but a positive.  It helped me to see both sides of the coin; it helped me to understand where people were coming from.  I was able to bring together both cultures to see that they weren’t so different.

People from the sticks and from the ghetto are not much different!

  • They both have learned to live on very little
  • They both love their guns
  • They both aren’t afraid of the “big guy” or the one(s) in charge
  • They both have tight family units regardless if its natural family or not
  • They both take life one day at a time because you may not have tomorrow.

Can you imagine if these two groups of people stopped thinking they were going in different directions and letting society tell them how different they are and came together? They would be unstoppable in anything they did.  I believe that God is calling these groups of amazing people to unite in Love.  He wants them to open up their hearts and be open to each other.  Maybe that is part of my calling.  To help people see that they aren’t so different and that they can come together if they just see not the color of each others’ skin, or the way they talk but that they have the same ability to give of themselves and their hearts for causes they believe in.  What if that cause is for real progress? What if that cause was to change this world and bring real peace to the United States? What if that cause was to destroy the work of darkness and end Racism?

Can we be a people that no matter our past, we open up our Hearts and look to our future together and dream again?  I will end with an excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his “I have a Dream” speech:

 

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

4 thoughts on “30 Days of Heart: Day 12”

  1. Johnny,
    Beautiful! Many people of diffeent colors, beliefs, and family histories, are the backbone of our country, to stand shoulder to shoulder an hand i hand tp perserve what we hold most dear, our God and our Faith.

  2. I know I’m late reading this because I’ve been catching up. God lets you go through the very thing that you are called to fight against. That way you know it’s not your strength, your words, your doing at all. (paraphrase from a sermon I listened to). And now it makes me look at people’s struggles in a whole new light. For instance, your struggle growing up was that you didn’t fit in anywhere. You weren’t part of unified group. And yet one of the greatest passions you have is unifying the church, the community, and the people. You said all this, so technically I’m just reiterating it. But it’s great non the less. I love what you said about your life/places you lived being a negative and not a positive because you can see both sides to the coin.

    1. Thank you Mary, I appreciate the insight. And it always sounds better when someone else says something haha.
      Keep going and glad we are walking on this journey together forward!

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