Every day there are people within our own communities who are drowning. Many have jumped in, many have fallen in, most have been swept under… And they are drowning. Drowning in philosophical or spiritual confusion, drowning in loneliness, drowning in addiction, drowning in mental illness, drowning in self-righteousness and dogmatic arrogance, drowning in complacency, drowning under the waves of economic and ethnic injustice, drowning as victims or instigators of racism, drowning under terms such as “law and order”. They are struggling… just below the surface of our neighborhoods, made visible as they come up gasping for air, begging for food, longing for a warm place to rest their heads, screaming for sanity.
Many of us sit on the sidelines, with a compassion-less arrogance, observing those who are drowning and say they should learn how to swim, unaware of our complacency and lack of knowledge on how to swim ourselves.
Some of us observe from the sidelines with compassion, telling those who are drowning that we are willing to teach them how to swim. We may even look for a life preserver, while trying not to get our feet wet.
Yet …there are few of us…hearts broken, with the knowledge that we were (and many times still are) drowning, who are willing, even compelled, to jump in the water and lift these brothers and sisters up, to become one with them, to understand that we are one of them, and to simply help them be raised so that they can at the very least take another breath in hopes that they will be pulled out of the mire once and for all.
May we be so disturbed by injustice, so disrupted from our comfort, so filled with an understanding of Shalom, that we learn to not only dip our toes in, but immerse our entire lives into the waves, in order to bring breath, life, hope…real hope.. so that we may all see a new day dawn when the waves that are drowning so many, subside to unveil a fertile land.
So may you be blessed:
With strength and weakness, passion and longing, protest and silence, hope and doubt, courage and humility.
May you be kept:
Near each other, joyful, awake, transparent, and at rest;
May you be gracious with yourself and others and may others do the same:
So that you may shine Light in every situation, without fear or worry, without the desire to seek the approval of others.
May others stand with you:
As you stand in solidarity, with the confused, the foreign, the addicted, the homeless, and the hopeless…
And may you see true peace:
Not just the absence of conflict, but the full presence of love and equity.
Photo by nikko macaspac