"Salvation", Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes paints a picture of himself as a little boy whose decisions at a church revival directly reflect mans own instinctive behavioral tendencies for obedience. A young Langston whose congregation wants him to go up and get saved, gives into obedience and ventures to the altar as if he has seen the light of the Holy Spirit.

Hughes goes on to say: " So I decided that maybe to save further trouble, I'd rather lie, too, and say that Jesus had come, and get up and be saved." In saying this, Langston has obviously overlooked his personal belief to meet the level of obedience laid out by the congregation. It leads us to fact that people may believe strongly in an idea or thought but will overlook that belief to be obedient. One can make a justified assumption that everyone in society has at one time or another overlooked his or her personal feelings to conform this occurrence whether it is instinctive or judgmental is one that each individual deals with a personal level.

He was a young boy who wanted to see Jesus, who wanted to earn salvation, but when he couldn't see Jesus, when everyone else saw, he found himself in the terrible position of disappointing not only himself but everyone in his community. He finally "saved" himself by pretending to see Jesus. He was saved not by love of Jesus as a congregation or preacher intended but by pretending to be other that who he was. One wanders what would have happened if he didn't stepped forward? Would they have seen a frightened boy? It is hard to say. However, it is kind of evident that he was afraid to be rejected;therefore, he fall into the trap of trying to please everyone. In addition, he met the needs of no one since he deceived everybody in church and himself as well.

Faith can not be based upon whether or not we receive what we want. Hughes waited long and hard for Jesus to come, and he believed that He would and should come since he asked him.

Hughes wasn't ready to put trust in God since He didn't succumb to his will. Even though his little body was knelling, he didn't humbled himself. The position of earnest subservience does not replace a prideful spirit. The bowling of the head and clenching of the hands are to be an outpouring of the spirit's state. Kneeling results from a humble prayer: humility doesn't come from kneeling. The question of the relationship between what we pray for and what actually happens is incorporated into "Salvation". Does God have to grant every request?




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