One of Us in Chains–None of Us Are Free

New Post — One of Us in Chains–None of Us are Free

One of us in chains, None of us are free
By Fred Pruitt

(Short piece, originally went out to my email list in 2002. ….

Listening to the radio this evening, we heard a gospel tune by a Gospel artist named Solomon Burke, backed up by the Blind Boys of Alabama. The original “Blind Boys” were five blind black men who met at the Tuskeegee Institute for the Blind in 1939 and have been touring the country and singing gospel together ever since, though at the time of this recording below, only one original member remained. There is a link at the bottom to listen to the song from a live recording. It is a very powerful song.)

Anyway, this tune they did had the most incredible message …. the chorus went like this:

“None of us are free
None of us are free
One of us are chained,

None of us are free”

I know I talk a lot about “freedom” and I mean it when I do. But the words of this song define our freedom as it is in this world. Love, Paul told us, is a debtor. It is indebted to give itself, to “spend and be spent” in order to accomplish its purpose.

Our “freedom,” therefore, is the freedom of the indebtedness of love. We are bound to our brothers and sisters until all come through. Only then will we all know our freedom in its fullest sense. Like Joshua and Caleb, whose actions qualified them to enter the Promised Land of Canaan, who nevertheless remained with their brethren who had been prevented from entering he Land because of their unbelief, until they ALL, the generation born in the wilderness, were able to cross Jordan and possess their Promised Land.

Therefore, in this present time, we willingly submit ourselves to infirmity, to weakness, to privation, to inconvenience, to a “limitation” of our freedom, if you will, like soldiers in a war who wish they were home with their wives or girlfriends, but nonetheless willingly put themselves in harm’s way to accomplish the victory of their cause.

Far from “license” or “passivity,” the Life where we do nothing and God does ALL is a DRIVEN LIFE of unceasing activity, moving from one love-debt to another. Our emotions get frayed and our bodies become worn, but the Light that hiddenly shines from the Center of our being continuously sustains us as it flows outward, just as an unfailing cruse of oil and barrel of meal feeds everyone in the house of the Man of God.

If our house catches on fire in the middle of the night, and our whole family scrambles out the exits we had previously designated so that we arrive safely on the lawn outside the burning house, only to immediately realize one of the children is missing, what parent would not want to rush back into the inferno to find their child?

Our freedom is the freedom of the indebtedness of love, and if one of us is in chains, none of us are free ….

But – not to despair – it is a holy bondage, the bondage of God, the bondage of love …. the rescue campaign continues …. we will all stay on the job until we pull everybody on board ….

then we’ll have a big party …. a REALLY big party ….

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.


Listen: One of Us In Chains, Solomon Burke and Blind Boys of Alabama

One thought on “One of Us in Chains–None of Us Are Free

Thank you for your comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s