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.
Those dudes were resourceful and hardworking. And they essentially had taken a pile of something nasty and cleaned it up. No huge, sweeping gesture, no dramatic production. They had just done what they could do. Rolling the mess into little balls and taking it away.
There will be people I love who will read this blog and shake their heads and maybe be disappointed in me. That’s okay. I figure most people are doing about the best they can. Including me. I certainly don’t have all of the answers. I’ve written things in the past that make me shake my head now and I’m sure I may change my mind tomorrow about things I think today. I hope that’s growth. At least that’s what I choose to call it.