My heart is heavy; a strange stew of emotions simmer ever just beneath the surface, frequently boiling over. Anguish over George Floyd; rage at the officers who dehumanized and murdered him; sadness for the fellow businesses that have closed forever on our Main Street...at times it all just seems too much to bear.
As I wonder how I can make a difference in systemic inequality, when it seems daunting and I don’t know where to start — I look within. I reaffirm what I believe, because words are important.
Black Lives Matter. Love is Love. Feminism is for Everyone. Humans cannot be illegal. The words make the actions more obvious.
And when the big actions seem daunting, I look within others. At the next person I see. Recently, it was a cook - no, a man - cleaning a pot outside the church near my home, on my morning walk with Harley.
Brown eyes smiling over a mask outside their kitchen; a glance I might normally have tried to avoid in my shy-ness or busy-ness, pretending my phone is very important.
Harley’s brown eyes met his and my own and suddenly things didn’t seem so different.
And now, every morning around 6am, Harley gets a plateful of chicken from Dino, as St. Paul’s prepares hundreds of meals; one of five churches who work together daily to feed some of the needy in Palm Springs.
That day, I decided to look to really see. Because it is all-too-easy to see someone as separate, different, or other. A different language, a different skin color, a different neighborhood. It is this idea of separateness -- from each other, from the Earth -- that gets us into trouble. So I remind myself that we are all made up of the same stuff, of the same divine cosmic dust, and that each person is God incarnate. We are all one.
When I look for the divinity in others, it is generally easy to find.
Then, I find myself behaving just a little bit better: more patient, open, compassionate, generous. And, in these small moments of grace, the world can seem beautiful again. And like Harley’s belly, my soul is nourished.