Heavenly Father, make us strong to do Your work, willing to heed and hear Your will, and write on our hearts these words: "Use power to help people." For we are given power not to advance our own purposes, nor to make a great show in the world, nor a name. There is but one use of power and it is to help people.
-- President George H.W. Bush, Jan. 20, 1989
The power of prayer sustained black folks when they were left behind to walk through the rain and wind in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
At yesterday's Clergy and Civil Rights Unity Prayer Breakfast co-hosted by the National Urban League and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Rev. Connie Thomas of the Mount Zion United Methodist Church called on President Bush to remember his father's prayer during his 1989 inaugural address.
Rev. Thomas preached, "We need to stir things up and keep stirring things up."
And they were stirring things up in Congo Square, where the People's Hurricane Relief Fund held a political rally. The participants vowed to continue to fight to ensure Katrina survivors can come back home. Their battle cry: "We're fired up. Won't take no more."
I got spiritual nourishment at the prayer breakfast but in Congo Square, I felt the spirit of the ancestors, who gave black folks the strength and resilience to survive the worst
natural man-made disaster in U.S. history.
During the rally, the sky opened up and there was a downpour. Still, the Hot 8 Brass Band played on and people danced.
I was so fired up I walked back to my hotel through the pouring rain. For nearly an hour, I waded through the water and tried to get a sense of what Katrina survivors experienced two years ago.