For Natasha

This is not a eulogy.

This is a wild ce-le-bra-tion.

Lived out in staccato, fast breaths and clapped hands.

This is a reverie of light that actively stomped the darkness.

She was a determined, defiant dance.

This is ce-le-bra-tion.

She was coffee and cocoa-bean, sugar cane and deep earth.

Caribbean and cradle of civilization. She was a multitude of passages.

Fervent and fierce, she was fire.

Dear sister, dearest “deeply loved.” Dearest cheerer of hope. Dearest liver of ALL CAPS.

We move our mouths, our hands, our hearts to honor your path.

We shout the echoes of your work of justice.

We clap along with your urgency of movement.

We break our hearts open to honor your life’s loves,

Your rivers of joy to drown the grief.

This is a ce-le-bra-tion.  

Syllable by syllable. Wave after wave.

We say her name. We hallow the hopes of her persistent heart.

We lift her high and carry her onward.

This is our commitment.

This is not a eulogy.

This is a wild ce-le-bra-tion.

As part of honoring Dr. Natasha Stevens, we are inviting our readers to join us in helping to complete her last fundraising goal of $5000 with Not For Sale, an organization committed to ending modern slavery and exploitation.

If you would like to read more of Natasha’s writing for Red Tent Living, you can find her posts here.

Eliza Cortes Bast is a fierce and honest follower of Jesus. She is a pastor and denominational executive, dedicated to helping churches think missionally. She lives into her passion by connecting people, advocating for the community, and helping organizations think strategically so they can be healthy, vibrant, and sustainable. Eliza lives in Michigan with her patient and handsome husband EJ, and their two boys. Her loves include her home country Puerto Rico, her interracial marriage, a good steak, salsa dancing, writing, empowering emerging leaders, making the impossible possible, Diet Coke, and mentoring. She is not a big fan of anger without action, generalizations, basketball, and saying you can’t live without coffee. She believes you can because she believes in you.