Live your creed

Daily Reading for February 28 • Anna Julia Heyward Cooper, Educator, 1964

Life must be something more than dilettante speculation. And religion (ought to be if it isn’t) a great deal more than mere gratification of the instinct for worship linked with the straight-teaching of irreproachable credos. Religion must be life made true; and life is action, growth, development—begun now and ending never. And a life made true cannot confine itself—it must reach out and twine around every pulsing interest within reach of its uplifting tendrils.

Do you believe that the God of history often chooses the weak things of earth to confound the mighty, and that the Negro race in America has a veritable destiny in His eternal purposes—then don’t spend your time discussing the “Negro Problem” amid the clouds of your fine havanna, ensconced in your friend’s well-cushioned arm-chair and with your patent leather boot-tips elevated to the opposite mantel. Do those poor “cowards in the South” need a leader—then get up and lead them! Let go your purse-strings and begin to live your creed. Or is it your modicum of truth that God hath made of one blood all nations of the earth; and that all interests which specialize and contract the broad, liberal, cosmopolitan idea of universal brotherhood and equality are narrow and pernicious, then treat that truth as true.

From A Voice from the South by Anna Julia Cooper, quoted in A Year With American Saints by G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber. Copyright © 2006. Used by permission of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY.

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