So many thoughts… so I’ll just think and write.
I was at the radio station doing my Sunday morning radio show when I got the call around 6:30 on my cell phone that Bishop Eddie Long had passed in the wee hours of the morning. By that time, nothing was online about it & I wasn’t going to be the first to publish anything. I felt the respectful thing to do was allow the church to tell their family & constituents in the way they deemed necessary. Just because I was privy to the info earlier didn’t give me the right to rob them of that by exposing the city to the info prematurely.
Bishop Long was a lot of things to a lot of people. Certainly, to the city of Atlanta, he was a game changer. He changed the way we ‘do’ church on a much larger scale & was a trailblazer in so many rights. I’d heard the stories when I moved to Atlanta in ’94 of this charismatic preacher who truly seemed to have a heart for people. I’d heard about the college scholarships given, the automobile keys given to single moms who had no transportation as well as homes freely given and rent paid for months at a time because it was ‘just the right thing for the church to do’. Eddie Long made that a reality. He was just a different guy. A multifaceted dude who probably wrestled with more than a person who has never occupied that space of influence and power could ever BEGIN to understand. I’ve been around a LOT of powerful people… secular and sacred alike. That level of genius, ‘anointing’, creativity, brilliance or whatever you want to call it ALWAYS has a polar opposite. It is my belief that to the degree you are awesome is to the exact same degree that you have the propensity to be awful. Yin and Yang, some would say. Most people of power it’s a lifelong struggle to maintain the proper balance.
My thoughts are all over the place because I realize what’s going to happen. Bishop’s death will be a potential place of contention and confusion for so many. ‘What REALLY happened? Did he have AIDS but cancer sounded better so they rolled with that? Wait, didn’t Kim Burrell say this was going to happen? Looks like justice/karma has come full circle!’ I just want to make a simple request:
Stop it. Please.
I can’t tell you what to do and I know it. But, a wife has lost her husband. Children have lost their father. A church has lost their leader. Did you hear that? THEIR leader. They believed in him & didn’t care that you didn’t. It doesn’t make them right or you wrong, but I must admit that it’s got to be a great feeling to know that you have people willing to hunker down and ride with you through the storm. Truthfully, although I THINK I have folk like that in my corner, but how would I really know unless of course, a storm comes.
There are victims all around the table here. Some literal, some alleged and some who were mortally wounded by the shrapnel that flew from force that was Bishop Eddie Long. You’re not wrong for feeling however you’re feeling. I’d just like to suggest a moratorium on the public blaming, judging and just plain old overanalyzing. A human being is gone. A great, prolific, flawed, secretive, brave, afraid, courageous, loving, risk taking human is gone. Is it possible that we can let that moment breathe and mourn with them that do mourn? I pray our humanity can allow that. You don’t have to have liked him, but multiple thousands did, and they’re hurting right now. If you can’t say anything helpful or encouraging, may I suggest a respectful silence? Even if just for 24 hours?
If not, I understand. Like I said earlier, my thoughts are all over the place.
Sending up prayers for Vanessa, the kids and grandkids as well as NBMBC.
Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal – Thomas Moore