Yes, it was just eight years ago, in 2007,that Jerry Lloyd, Dominica's most celebrated gospel artiste sang, in the Calypso finals, "I see water" as a warning to Dominicans.
Well, no one takes artistes seriously and only do so in retrospect. Remember Crazy's "In time to come" or Gypsy's "Captain the ship is sinking'?
Jerry may shudder when I say so but I've always viewed him as an inspired individual, a thinker, a philosopher of sorts. We were great friends in our youth.
Sometimes we have no control or don't even know it but God uses men to convey His message to mankind. For Jerry, that message was revealed in a dream:
I am not a man who dreams usually And flooding is not a thing we see in this country If we consider naturally Then it would seem to be impossibility But in the visions of the night Sometime before daylight I saw a phenomenon and it was so profound So I come to warn Dominicans Of what I see coming upon this land
Jerry did warn us in 2007 but many were more concerned about the messenger and not the message. I recall the argument was raised once again i.e. whether a Christian can sing Calypso or participate in Calypso contests at the national level. But how else would he give this admonishment? Certainly not in a church to the converted! Or should it be left to the DJ's to play it a few times on Voice of Life Radio hoping by accident that someone will get it? Well, this is another argument which I am not willing to make in this article except to say that this song was presented to the masses on a national stage.
I saw the sea rising very high Clouds and bleakness covering the sky Take so many people by surprise So busy with their lives they didn't realize Everywhere is water Land and houses covered It seem to come suddenly Man doe have a chance to hide From judgment coming from the father's side
How prophetic! But alas no one heeded or took note! After all Jerry was singing about a warning and about Christ in a secular medium, Calypso! I could imagine that was the same way the people in the days of Noah reacted while the Ark was being built. So while we cry "storm", Jerry saw and sang of an impending judgment. Certainly at the time he did not scare anyone as he anticipated…
I didn't come to scare anybody But I've got to warn you of the things I see If I should ponder silently This judgment will be my responsibility It seems our daily actions here Stirring up heavenly anger So God sending us a warning of what will be happening If we don't change our ways Dominica will feel it one of these day
And so Dominica did feel it on the 27th August 2015 as Erica poured water mercilessly during 6-7 hours on the island leaving in its wake as much death as the giant Hurricane David of 1979.
There's a way when man get comfortable And he think that everything is alright He does get himself in big, big trouble Practicing evil in God sight Misbehaving flagrantly Disregarding God and country So I come to warn Dominican, Repent and do what is right One way to stop the judgment is to Stop the wickedness and acknowledge Christ.
In the middle of reconstruction, amidst the assistance and the reaching-out by many Dominicans through church, Red Cross and other institutions, we hear and are aware of a lot of flagrant behavior as Jerry puts it, still "disregarding God and country." The question is: have they done the required introspection or have they gone back to being "comfortable in their evil ways?"
I see water plenty water Covering much of the area Water running, water climbing Water digging, water rising Water rising, water crashing, water destroying I just don't know how many people surviving.
(Written and performed by Jerry Lloyd -2007)
Dominicans have written a few songs about Erica's devastation. There is the popular composition written by parliamentarian Ronald Charles and ably performed by the Look Us band titled: "We'll rise again". But no other song played over the past few weeks has been more instructive than Jerry Lloyd's eight-year-old premonition "I see Water."
Could this just be a warning, the beginning of things to come if we don't "Stop our wickedness and acknowledge Christ?" If not, then how can we truly 'Rise again?' This is the question I pose this week to all.