New Orleans Masks…


St. Charles & Napoleon: God’s light shining through the clouds. A new hope through the dark and dreary. 


You just want to dance. At least for me, dancing is something that’s in my bones. A part of me. Much like running, I may not be fast…but I feel free when I’m doing it. It’s in my skin and I can’t shake it. So, after the Magazine Blues Fest was over on Saturday night, I chirped up: “LET’S GO DANCIIIIING!! Anyone up for Bourbon?!” My friends were a bit hesitant, but decided to comply as a result of my persuasive smile. 

For me, Bourbon is strictly a place to dance. Not a place to drink, as I don’t drink nor do I need any outside catalysts to let loose. So, we went with that intention and came upon a place that was playing some serious Michael Jackson. It was fun. No really, it was.

But something about this street and the places therein was more heartbreaking than ever before. This certainly wasn’t my first time to go out dancing on Bourbon, but I had changed a lot since the last time I’d been there. In other words, God had done a lot… had brought me to a new level. I was more spiritually sensitive.

And what I could see was a whole lot of empty smiles and merriment that were a mask for pain, for sadness, for an internal sickness. People come down to New Orleans and put on literal masks for Mardi Gras, but every day in this city…there are heavy masks that you can see so plainly. Go down any street, and you can see it…feel it. There’s a heaviness that you can smell.

It leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

But the pungent nature of it also brings tears to your eyes.

My darling Jesus Christ, what have you done to me? Your grace, part of my name, Neema… or “Grace” in Swahili. Your grace, given to me…and the life there. Not deserved, but also…not in vain. 

You light a match, let alone a candle in the darkest of caves?


The time has come to wipe off the stale face paint. Only God can do that, but he uses His people to wet the cloth and go forth on the ground. 

Look. See. He is about to set this city free.





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