Cassie was born a slave in the deep south of Alabama. She didn’t know anything else. Hard work with no reward was all life had ever given her. Mama always said “one sweet day they would all be free.” But she had stopped believing that a long time ago. Mama was gone now and freedom wasn’t even worth hoping for anymore. She was all alone in the world now, nothing mattered.
It had been a nice memorial service, Nona Jean made sure of that. Even though there was no money for a proper funeral, everyone pitched in. A nice blue dress was given by Lila, the men built a sturdy box for Mama and all the children picked wildflowers for the gravesite. The slaves gathered round on the back acreage of the plantation in their finest. Even the Missus showed up to pay her respects. Big Harley read from the Psalms and Nona Jean sang some beautiful old hymns, all Mama’s favorites. And then they put her in the ground right underneath the big old oak tree where Cassie had carved out her name many years ago.
Everybody loved Mama…..she was the wisest of all. They respected her devout faith. Anytime there was a cross word between the slaves, Mama took out her old cracked Bible and read to them from the scriptures. That was all it took.
“Oh, what am I gonna do without her?” Cassie sobbed.
Put your trust in God Cassie, He is your strength.
“Who said that?”
It’s me, Cassie. I’m here, inside your heart.
“Mama, oh Mama please come back to me. I need you right now. I can’t be alone, Mama. You have always been here and I’m…….so scared.
Cassie, rejoice for me, I am finally free! You will always have my memory. Things will get easier with time. Now you must depend on God completely, honey. He is with you always, you know that! You must carry on His work in my place. The others will need your knowledge of the scriptures to get them through hard times. You must be strong for them. And remember I will always love you, Baby….See you in heaven someday.
Cassie woke to the sound of pounding on the shanty door.
“Girl, you better get yourself out here! You think them fields are gonna work theyselfs?”
Was it a dream? It seemed so real! She had heard Mama talking to her, she was sure of it!
While rubbing her swollen eyes she slowly stood up and stretched. Work never stopped, no matter what. There was no time for grieving, no time for nothing but work.
As Cassie joined the others for the long trek to the fields she felt a growing sense of peace in her heart. Jimbo started singing:
Swing low, sweet chariot. Coming for to carry me home……..Swing low, sweet chariot. Coming for to carry me home……..she joined in the praise.
When the day was done Cassie realized she hadn’t once been sad about Mama’s passing and she almost felt guilty about it. God had given her joy even in her back-breaking tasks He had put a song in her heart all day.
God is so good! She thought to herself while walking alone back to the shack.
Yes He is, Cassie. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. Now, go feed the flock. And one day we will all be free together, with the Lord.
“Who said that?”
Scripture from KJV - Psalms 126: 5-6
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