As a young boy taking swimming lessons, comic and author Baratunde Thurston was certain he’d never actually swim. He did okay paddling around the shallow end but the day came when instructors marched the class to the edge of the deep end. “I’m about to die at the hands of serial killers masquerading as YMCA swimming instructors,” Thurston writes of the experience in How to Be Black.
Gasping and choking on chlorinated water way over his head, Thurston experienced what he describes as a miracle. “My body began to swim! I can’t say I began to swim, because I didn’t feel that the conscious me was in charge. But nevertheless, I was swimming.”
Transforming the deep, dark waters of mistaken belief –our own or those collectively held – is spiritual work that unfolds through our human experiences. It requires us to stand in truth. It requires our prayers and our presence. It can require a willingness to flail around in the unknown. Sometimes we dive into the depths expectantly; other times we’re flung kicking and screaming. Either way, the buoyancy of Spirit will deliver us to higher ground, provided we’re open to discovering the super power that dwells within.