I read somewhere that when two people look at the world one may see hate and division and darkness while the other sees beauty, love, and light. The interesting thing is that regardless of who does the looking, it’s the same world. We get to choose how we look at it. No one else chooses for us. But our choices make all the difference in how we walk through this time. The truth is that we still have much more than we have lost. We can choose to bring our best selves to the hard, messy work of finding our way forward though this new landscape, together. We have each other and we have grace. And that is more than enough.
Let us be the people who decide to be different from the crowd. Let us be the movers and shakers–the leaders–who show the rest of Arkansas how it’s done. Let us reject the narrative that it has to be either/or. Let us be weird and different from the whole world if that’s what it takes to also be wonderful. We can find the courage in our hearts to lock arms and stand together on the middle ground. Some might say I’m naive, but I know we can do it. Let this be the place where reconciliation begins!
This is a theme that’s been growing in my mind. Like those bulbs buried all winter in the dark, the other day it finally sprouted. I’d been watching people hoard, criticize, ignore, demand, and blame leaders, especially politicians. Fear and anxiety can spread across the world faster than a virus. I struggled daily trying to figure out my role, to come up with a spiritual vaccine I might offer. What could protect us from losing our better selves in the face of this crisis?
This is a picture of some of the world’s greatest body builders, all assembled in one place for an early Thanksgiving dinner. The little church building on the corner of where highways 309 and 23 meet in Ozark–Webb City Baptist–can’t contain them all at once anymore. Lifting weights, after all, makes you grow.
We say it takes a village to raise a child, and I believe that’s true. But equally true is that we adults also need raising sometimes. We all need a village.