BY THE HONORABLE MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN | LAST UPDATED: MAY 9, 2012 – 12:52:48 PM
[Editor’s note: The following article contains edited excerpts of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s address at Ebenezer A.M.E. Church in Washington, D.C. on May 2, 2005 as part of a series of speaking engagements across the United States that led up to the 10th Anniversary Commemoration of the Million Man March/Millions More Movement in October.]
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
Where would we be without “pain”?
When a misfortune comes into a person’s life who has served God as best as they can, sometimes they wonder, “God, why should any misfortune come into my life?” Why not? How else will God know, and how will you know, who you really are if God only does what you want Him to do, when you want Him to do it?
Pain is not a permanent condition.
If it were not for pain, none of us would have come to birth. If it were not for the pain and suffering of our fathers, then our spirituals would never have been written, and never sung. If it were not for the pain and hurt of slavery, where would The Blues have come from? Where would Jazz have come from? Where would Hip-Hop come from?
“Pain” is The Mother of Creativity; and without pain, you cannot create.
Pain is what has brought us together
There was a man who loved his wife dearly and she passed away. He loved her so much, and he was in so much pain at her death, he went to the piano and he wrote “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.” See, without pain, you wouldn’t call on Him. So God has to sometimes keep us in pain to get a sincere prayer.
There has never been a new idea that wasn’t accompanied by pain. There never was a new revelation brought by a human being coming from God that was not accompanied by pain. And as we sit in our Houses of The Lord, in the name of Jesus, the Christ, we would not be here were it not for the pain and the suffering of The Cross of Calvary.
Pain has brought us together: The pain of our ancestors in the holds of ships; the pain of those who would rather jump the ship into the open mouths of sharks rather than come to America to be made slaves. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that when our fathers landed on the shores of Jamestown, Virginia, they came on a ship named “Jesus” and they would go down to the shore looking for that ship to take them back home to their native land and people. But little did they know that it would be 400 years when the real ship “Jesus”—God in Person—would come to deliver His people from the cruel hands of a wicked slave-master.
Pain has brought us together. The pain of Nat Turner, the pain of Denmark Vesey: The pain that made them want to fight to be delivered from pain, only to suffer the pain of betrayal. The pain of Booker T. Washington, the pain of Marcus Garvey, the pain of W.E.B. DeBois: Men and women who stood for us and were ultimately betrayed by us because the wicked machinations of this world always worked against strong Black men and strong Black women to destroy leadership from among us.
The pain of Malcolm X, my brother and my teacher who taught me as a young Muslim and gave me a strong example of a dedicated and committed soul: Pain drove him from the Nation; the pain of envy, the pain of jealousy. He ended up dead—destroyed because pain accompanies greatness. And if you can’t handle pain, then leave this Struggle to Raise Black men and women up alone. If you can’t handle being rebuked and scorned and evil spoken of by the people you come to serve, then you’d better leave this alone.
The pain of suffering Black women, who not only bear the pain of childbirth, but the pain of watching their children destroyed by a system of education that was designed to destroy. A system of jurisprudence that never was designed to give us justice; the economic system that made us like the Children of Israel had to make bricks out of straw.
A lesson on the pain of mothers in creating a servant for God
And the pain of Martin Luther King, Jr.: My brother was in a lot of pain. See, love gives you pain: When you truly love, you feel the pain of those whom love.
A mother can be in a distant place and say, “Lord! Something is wrong with my child…,” and that is why next to God, there is nothing like a mother. And this is why the Bible teaches “honor your mother.”
I had a great mother, a beautiful Black woman who nursed me from her Black beautiful breasts; who always wanted to see me love Black people. She was in a lot of pain because my father, who was a light-skinned, handsome “lover,” gave her a lot of pain. So she left him—though she loved him; and took up with another man. But one day my father came back into the picture—“love” makes you do strange things; and so she, who never divorced my father, had a relationship with my father that resulted in my being conceived.
Although she was with a man who loved her, she became pregnant by another. And she said, “What can I do? Lord, if this child comes forward, looking like its daddy”—and the man she was living with was as dark as she—“I’m in trouble.” So she got a hanger and she tried on three occasions to destroy my life. But after the third time, and she couldn’t do it, she said, “Let it be.”
So many of us look at our pregnancy as an “inconvenience,” so the thought of murder, though we don’t call it that, comes into our minds. This is why I want you to think back on the pain of Mary who became pregnant with Jesus: The Jewish law was that anyone found in adultery or fornication should be stoned to death; and here Mary was, pregnant from a hidden source. Imagine her pain!
But consider when you’re in “pain”: Greater the pain, the more sincere the prayer; the greater the hurt, the deeper we bow our knees. And sometimes when the pain is so great, we lie in prostration before Him Who can deliver us from our pain.
Mary’s womb was a sacred place—but she needed the pain of those around her who would accuse her; she needed the pain of rabbis who would put her to death under the Law of Moses. She needed the pain in order to cry out in her pain that The God of Justice, The God of Mercy, could hear her in her cry and touch her womb and shape in the womb out of pain one who would come onto the Planet to suffer pain, but to deliver humanity from all its pain and wipe away all its sins. Pain is what has brought us together.
We need the real, revolutionary Jesus
While my brother Martin Luther King, Jr., in his nobility was fighting for “integration,” as a young man in the 1960s who had Malcolm X and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad as my teachers: We said, “No indeed! Separation,” because we understood that God never wanted the Children of Israel to integrate into a house and a people who had caused them pain that He had come to judge.
So God didn’t send Moses to integrate them, he sent Moses to call them out into a land that He had prepared for them as their Inheritance; because they suffered pain, and they were guilty of no crime.
Today we have more millionaires than we have ever had. Today we have more educated Blacks than we have ever had. Today we have more middle class Black people than we have ever had. Today we have 10,000 or more public servants in politics. Over 500 Black mayors, City Councilmen, Aldermen, sheriffs, deputies, everything you can think of, but our minds are still not healed. So we need Jesus, and we need him right now!
But we don’t need the milquetoast Jesus; the Jesus that tolerates foolishness. We need the real Jesus in our lives! With the real Jesus in your life, you’ll never be the same again.
But if you’re the same old Negro, with a slave mentality, crying out: “Jesus! Jesus!”—then you know the name, but you’re not acquainted with the function under that name because there is no other name under the heavens above that can offer salvation but the name of Jesus.
And Jesus was not a blond-haired, blue-eyed fellow; he is a Jesus that has hair like lamb’s wool, he’s a Jesus that has feet like burnished brass. He is a Jesus that is a revolutionary; and if you don’t know that Jesus, I want to acquaint you with that master.
How do you know that Jesus was a revolutionary? Some of you are scared of the word “revolution,” because you really don’t know what a revolution is. Revolution is not with a “gun,” because revolutionaries with guns have toppled governments and replaced them with the same madness. Revolution means making a thing make a complete change till it gets back to the beginning. Revolution means “I am Alpha—but I am also Omega; and everything else in between!”
Revolution means that as the Earth is touched by the power of the light of the Sun, striking the Earth at the equator causing her to spin at 1,037 and 1/3 miles per hour, and making movement around the Sun every 365 1/4 days: Without the presence of light, you have no revolution. So the people that walked in darkness stay in darkness until they are touched by the Light.
Our Inheritance: A renewed mind after being destroyed
Pain brought us together … The Enemy deprived us of light. In the book by Edward Embry called “Brown Americans” he writes that in the Virginia House of Delegates, they boasted that they had closed every avenue by which light could enter the mind of the slave. That’s rough! That meant that by closing every avenue by which light could enter our minds, we would be in a perpetual state of servitude. So your mother died, your father died, grandmamma died, grandpapa died, great grandpapa died, great grandma died—and now, the great grandchildren are still serving the same master that their great grandfathers served. How is that any change?
In slavery, there was full employment—now we’re begging the master for what? “Crumbs.” “We want jobs! We want jobs!” Do you have any jobs yet? Do you mean, with all this education that Black people have, we don’t have the ability to create a job? Instead, we have to beg our former slave-masters to give us that which if we were united, we could give ourselves?
We need to stop “looking to the hills.”
While some may be with Jesus only inside the church, I am with him for life: The Government doesn’t like me, and it didn’t like Jesus. The Scribes don’t like me, and they didn’t like Jesus. The hypocritical religious leaders of that day didn’t like Jesus, and they don’t like me today.
Why don’t they like me? Because if you come to me blind, you’ll go away seeing; if you come to me deaf, you’re going away hearing; if you come to me dumb, you’re going away speaking. If you come with a leprous, White mind—I’m going to heal you and make you love your Black self! And if you come walking or laying on a dead level, by The Power of God, I will raise you into a living perpendicular, and put you on the square.
Yeah, I know Jesus: I’m one of His followers … Not in the same flock as you, but he said “other sheep have I that are not of this fold.” So don’t you worry about “me and Jesus,” saying: “If that boy just had the Lord, he’d be all right.” If you had the Lord like I’ve got the Lord, you, too, would be all right!
If after listening to me you leave in fear, you don’t know Jesus. If you leave in pain, and no relief, then you don’t know Jesus. He comes to offer you your Inheritance! And after all of your pain, your Inheritance is what you have earned! Jesus said, “Be ye not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”—this is what God, through Christ, is offering us as our Inheritance! “Let this mind be in you, the same that was in Christ Jesus.”
So if you have Jesus Christ’s mind, you have The Mind of God; so David is right when he said: “Ye are all God’s Children of the Most High God.”
And is there anything that God wants to do, that He can’t do? No! Each one of us can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth us.
The Time of Victory is now
Dear brothers and sisters: I am in love with you all. I love you, and I am willing to pay the price of death for you. Do you understand? I can’t run from “death”: Even if I climb the highest mountain, or go down in the deepest valley and find a cave somewhere and hide, saying, “It won’t get me here,” death is going to overtake me at some point. Wherever you are, death will find you.
But I am determined that in the latter years of my life I can’t go out like a “punk”! In the latter years of my life, I can’t compromise the future of a people! In the latter years of my life, I must be stronger than I ever was in my teenage years, my 20s, 30s and my 40s—because The Master said: “He who would seek to save his life will lose it, and he who is willing to lose his life for My sake shall gain eternal life.”
I know I’m on that same road that Brother Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey and all our ancestors were on. We are all on that Road—the difference is, we’re in The Time of Victory! I can smell The Victory; I can see The Victory! I can see our people going free! Like Martin said, I’ve been to the mountain. I have seen the Promised Land. He said, “I may not get there with you.
Thank you for reading these words.