It's been a while since I have written last. My life has honestly been a blur of regular work, school work, and moving. My latest adventure includes moving into an intentional Christian community in the Chinatown area of Washington, D.C. Through all the hiccups and the challenges of living in a new space, with new people, and still trying to put my phone and/or my glasses in the same place everyday to find them, it has been a beautiful thing to learn what it means to live in relationship with others.
Last night, I had an experience that made me realize that I need to start writing again. At about 2 a.m. my roomie, suitemate, another member of the community and I engaged in a conversation on which I am still reflecting. The other member of the community who was in this conversation is about as opposite from me as one can get - first this member was a he, he is also very tall, and he is also white. He is from a part of the country where 50 degrees is considered a heatwave, whereas I will make sure to have my coat handy if it even appears the temperature will dip below 60 degrees. He shared an experience that bothered him as a male and challenged us females that we needed to stand up for him in certain situations. I admit, initially I was a little skeptical - as in how often does one who is in the majority culture need someone to stand up on their behalf in the face of injustice? Not often, if at all. Yet, if it did, would I be willing to stand up for him?
I started thinking about the role God gave Adam when he was planted on this earth - to be a caretaker. Not only did Adam name things, but he was placed in charge of tending and keeping things in order. Yes, a lot of things changed after the fall, but I still believe we are called to be caretakers - especially of each other.
What would the world look like if we stood up for some injustice against someone else? How much stronger would our relationships be if we chose to challenge each other - not through judging each other, but a challenge to grow in truth and in love? How much would the world be changed if we, instead of silently sitting by waiting for someone else to stand up, took a stand?
Our stand sometimes doesn't even have to be that deep. It may be standing up to say one thoughful thing to each person you encounter in a day. It may be sitting with the homeless person simply to find out how their day went. Perhaps it is asking your boss if there is something you can be praying and beleiving with him or her.
I pray the prayer of St Francis of Assisi...
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.