Why the Underground?
After awakening from that all-night series of dreams, which I truly believe were meant to be a prophetic warning to our nation, I took a very long season of time to process and learn. While my family and I were part of a multiethnic church in Nashville, TN and my husband and I, both white Americans from a lower middle class background who had achieved graduate medical degrees, had undergone a lot of learning in multiethnic ministry and relations, we knew that we didn’t yet have the background or tools necessary for me to write what has become the Divided series.
After seeking wisdom from God and from friends, I decided to not begin writing quite yet. Instead, I took several years to research our nation’s history of slavery, to read every slave first-hand account I could find, to research the lives of slaves in other places and even centuries, including the stories of the gladiators in Ancient Greece and Rome and the modern-day freedom fighters involved in trying to stop human trafficking. I had already completed a thorough study of the Bible in the area of community development, social justice and biblical answers to oppression. But I was just laying the foundation.
It was only when we began the process of church planting in Cincinnati, OH, a city wracked in its past by race riots and division along ethnic lines, that I began to get a glimpse of what I was missing.
I was missing the answer to how the world of Divided was going to be set right. I was missing the Underground, an organization in which the different ethnic groups had not only learned how to be together, but to work together, despite their differences. I was missing the hope of reconciliation. And I found the Underground while touring the Underground Railroad Museum in the Freedom Center, which had just opened along the banks of the Ohio River in Cincinnati in the earliest days of our church planting process.
Just like the slaves in the days of Harriet Tubman and the other conductors on the Underground Railroad, this world of Divided needed men and women willing to risk their own lives to see their brothers and sisters freed from tyranny and oppression. It needed the men and women of the Underground, who would risk everything to discover the tunnels under the city of Queenstown, a relic from the days of Prohibition and beer-brewing that are now used to allow them to meet and train in secrecy.
And that’s when I met Moses and Julianna. A couple who was alive when everything went to hell in a hand basket in the old America; who survived the nuclear attacks and the EMPs. A Ranger and a high school math teacher who, through grit and survivalist training, were able to survive the civil war and the takeover by Martin, formed the backbone of the Underground’s formation.
Hope is alive in the Underground; a hope that justice, mercy and truth can win in the Federated Republic of America (FRA), despite more than four decades of fear and oppression.
Would you have been brave enough to join the Underground?