I thought long and hard about the theme, but one evening, as I logged in on a random Zoom call that was forwarded to me, the theme was 'Unforgiveness'. I was inspired to write a piece on unforgiveness, and the truth is, it only took me a few minutes.
Five dancers, five different experiences, five battles, five testimonies. The issue of unforgiveness is expressed through movement with the musical accompaniment of an original spoken-word piece entitled ' The Power of Forgiveness'. I challenged each dancer to improvise or create a choreography based on their interpretation of Spiritual Warfare (my choreography layout is mainly based on structured improvisation, this allows dancers to dance with the guidance of the Holy Spirit as well, as express themselves without limitations). The Spoken Word piece was inspired by someone's testimony about unforgiveness. My focus is usually situated within the lived experiences of my family, friends and peers. This allows me to share the testimonies of others through performance. As the word of God declares in Revelation 12: 11 " We overcome by the Blood of the Lamb, and the Word of our testimony." Our words are not only spoken but it can be performed.
Based on the theme given, I used the following scriptures
2 Corinthians 2:5-8, 10
Matthew 6:12, 14-15
Ephesians 6:10- 20
For the past couple years I have struggled with the sin of unforgiveness, and funny enough, a few of my friends shared the same sentiments and expounded on the spiritual and physical effects it had on them.
I see unforgiveness as a principality. It is dark. It riddles the human boy with pain. Anything that manifests in the spiritual manifests in the physical, and that in itself is Spiritual warfare. Therefore, the armour of God is essential.
Unforgiveness can paralyse you from the neck go down ( A friend of mine shared her testimony with me and she spoke to the paralysis that unforgiveness struck her with until she boldly made the choice to forgive). Many dancers share similar stories, so I decided to embody the issue of unforgiveness through spoken word and dance with the use of the given text, and a few that I found fitting for my theme.
This piece not only shows the struggle of unforgiveness but it emphasizes the need to forgive, to let go of the poison we hold on to. When we forgive, we obey the word of Jesus as stated in the latter part of the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6. We understand that Jesus is peace, and once we are prepared to be clothed with His Armour, we will deny ourself (our struggles and shortcomings) and follow our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. For he has indeed covered us, in the midst of the battle.
Renee Plenty: Producer/ Director/ Editor/Spoken Word/ Dancer
Kevin Clarke: Videographer/ Editor
Darian Sandiford: Sound Producer
Andrea Prince: Dancer
Daron Mitchell: Dancer
Chantalle Worme: Dancer
Sharisah Brathwaite: Dancer
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And that loud whisper,
That ringing voice
Unforgiveness was my drug,
I sniffed him day and night
Until the Lord told me to
“Let it go.”
But I couldn’t.
They always used to shout at me,
They used to hit me with the words of a viper.
Their tones were like a sniper.
You were supposed to be my protector, his protector, her protector, their protector.
But you were a verbal abuser.
You tortured my ability to forgive anyone and anything.
Whenever I look at myself,
My hands in the air, with tears in my eyes,
And guilt in my smile,
And I realised I am nothing.
I am nothing without Jesus.
For years I drowned in neglect,
And the weight of your sin,
Brewing on the inside,
Sent thoughts of self- infliction on this thick skin.
I feel the attacks!
Stirring up in my head,
Did I just wish he were dead?
No, that was the enemy speaking,
That was unforgiveness manifesting.
It manifested in my thoughts, it manifested in my walk, and it manifested in the spiritual.
I was under attack,
But Jesus had my back.
So, I had to forgive them.
Forgiveness was my portion.
You see, if I proclaimed Jesus,
It needed to reflect it in my actions.
There were times I saw the manifestations,
The out lash,
The lack of trust,
And so much more.
I even saw the manifestations in others.
It was gruesome.
The demons manifested in such a blinding way.
Freedom was stuck in a broken place.
The enemy occupied broken spaces.
And through it all, you told me
To “Forgive them”.
The Devil played me,
And he is playing you,
So, forgive them!
“Now if anyone has caused pain,
he has caused it not to me,
but in some measure —
not to put it too severely — to all of you.
For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough,
so, you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him,
or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.
So, I beg you to reaffirm your love for him …
Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive.” (2 Corinthians 2:5-8, 10)
Our Father in Heaven instructed us to forgive,
Because we too have done some damage.
We hurt, hurt people,
We abuse, the abused,
And we rob those who need to be fed.
Jesus instructed us to go feed His sheep.
And we are comfortably wrapped in the blanket of unforgiveness,
While we abandon those, who need to eat.
Forgiveness is a two-way transaction,
For when we forgive, we are forgiven.
“For if you forgive others their trespasses,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you,
but if you do not forgive others their trespasses,
neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Jesus)
I want to tell you,
That we live in a world where spiritual warfare is real.
The enemy is real.
The devil is real.
And Salvation is even realest!
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
But against principalities and powers,
And rulers of darkness of this world.
Strongholds such as rebellion and unforgiveness
are the cancer blinding us from repentance.
So, we need to forgive and to accept Jesus.
Those who are free from the bondage of unforgiveness,
Need to go into the world and share His goodness.
Share His grace.
Wear His armour.
His helmet of salvation,
His Breastplate of righteousness,
His Shield of Faith,
Let your loins be girded with truth, and the sword of the Spirit be firm in our hands.
Our feet clothed with the gospel of peace
And prayer as our covering.
For the Lord, our God is Mighty to save,
Jesus is our redeemer.
So, when you forgive,
Will desist and the Peace of God will reign in your heart!
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