Our Country in Anguish

Our country is in anguish. There are too many deaths; too much hate; too many hearts of stone. Something must give. Something must change. Yes, change is scary. Yes, change is complex. But how many more days must a black man fear for his life, as he takes a daily run? How many more minutes must a black teenager look over his shoulder, anxious that he might be gunned down? How many seconds does it take to hear a black man begging, “Sir, I can’t breathe,” before he is released?

Open your eyes! Racism is embedded in American society. How many more decades will pass before discrimination based on skin tone is honestly addressed? How many more years will fly by until inequity in our schools and work environments is flattened? How many more days until the phrase, “Black Lives Matter” can be set aside because it is no longer needed?

Violence is not the answer; rioting is not the answer; murder is not the answer. Hate only begets hate. However, just sitting in front of the tv is not the answer either. Complaining to a friend will not solve any issues. Staying silent will not bring change. Choosing to not act, is still an action.

So, what do we do? We do not have to agree. We do not have to befriend the world. We do not even have to like each other. This is not an elementary school math problem where answers are black and white. There is more than one correct answer. There is no way to cheat on this test in search of an easy way out.

I am a 38-year-old white woman who just began college. I am choosing to act through writing and by starting conversations with my fellow Americans. I am choosing to listen and learn from stories of the deep-seeded trauma caused by oppression. I am choosing to view everyone in this country as equal human beings. Most of all, I am choosing to see that there is still good work happening in our country.

What is your choice?

A Changing World

I keep looking at the outside world
through a small and tinted glass;
hoping to gather enough information
to make some sense of the recent past.
 
Havoc widely flames about and
engulfs the world I knew;
turning the fast, bright lights of certainty
into a slow falling blur of undefined truth.
 
Faintly, at first, then into a crescendo 
a cry lands on my burning ears.
It’s a call to action – an important sign,
to fight fear and leave the past behind.
 
The world keeps changing fast and furious;
however, the feeling is nothing new.
But I can see more clearly now
because I have a better view.
 
Human love – it’s been proven strong
especially in the last few months.
Love has continued to gain momentum
with community applause and song.
 
Although my body remains fairly inactive
and my thoughts race faster than lightning,
God places His calming hand on my shoulder
so that my spirit can rest and recharge.
 
I thank you, Lord, for my family and friends
because they continue to bring forth Your Love.
My faith seems to be growing steadily stronger
and I choose to face this day head-on!

Who Am I?

I am the Sunshine

            lighting the way through the darkest of times

I am the Laughter

            filling hearts with hope this day

I am the Fresh Breeze

carrying stories of tolerance

I am the Sweet Taste

            of freedom and forgiveness

I am the Wool

            embracing My Children with Love

I am the Waves of Truth

            rising the tides of courage to follow Me

Thank you, Lord

for opening my eyes to see through the darkness

Thank you, Lord

            for providing hope when all seems lost

Thank you, Lord

            for my gifts which I use to teach acceptance

Thank you, Lord

            for dying to grant us freedom and forgiveness

Thank you, Lord

            for Your never-ending love which keeps me going daily

Thank you, Lord

            for Your Word which generates my courage to follow You

My Bridge

 people are always flowing
up and down my life
some bringing Love within them
others only bringing strife
 
sometimes i fall far below –
i smash into rocks
drown in the darkness
wanting to totally give up
 
then this day arrives
and sunlight comes out
My Bridge appears before me
she cannot be torn down
 
made from Love
she guides me strong
i’m uplifted from the dark river bank
onto dry ground above
 
the world is a bit clearer
as i wipe away tears
i am learning to walk steady
i am learning to release fear
 
as i walk across My Bridge
i see endless Faith
she stops to listen
she actively waits
 
i am made from dust
and am reshaped each day
i thank you, Lord
for this bridge you gave
 
to My Bridge
formed by Love
i cannot express my gratitude
because words are not powerful enough

A Prayer of Affirmation

Dear Lord of Heaven and Earth, of all that is seen and unseen, I praise your name with a heart full of love! As I ask for forgiveness, I also affirm my responsibilities as Your child:

I now affirm that I choose to live a life as Your disciple!

I now affirm that I will take every opportunity to learn from everyone, even if it’s painful so that I can live and grow in Your light!

I now affirm that this day is precious and I will live in it and not in the past!

I now affirm I will respect myself and care for my body properly!

I now affirm that a joyful life is my birthright given by You!

I now affirm I will observe myself and others without judgment!

I now affirm I will meditate on Your Word and pray for guidance daily!

I now affirm I will trust in You to find courage in times of turmoil!

I now affirm You created me for a purpose and I am significant in this world!

I now affirm that my words and deeds will be used to nourish myself and others as I release all grudges and resentments!

I now affirm that at this moment all is well and I thank You Lord for the miracle of my existence!

I now affirm that my words and actions will be used to glorify You and draw me closer to You!

As always, I love You! As always, I trust You!

Amen!

Adapted from Enneagram Transformations: Release and Affirmations for Healing Your Personality Types by Don Richard Riso

Contagious

 the unknown evolves when we are silent
when we close our eyes and refuse to see
slowly fear creeps upon the heart
it is contagious and drives people apart
 
don’t let the unknown win
 
fear grabs hold of the train tracks
crushing out all light as the windows pass
the horn only tells contagious lies
intending for hope to surly die
 
don’t let the fear win
 
take responsibility for yourself
don’t fall into that contagious mob
let go anger and hate from what is different
stand up straight on the solid ground
 
don’t let anger and hate win
 
peace and love can spread their wings
if we open the doors otherwise unseen
let their contagious song be heard
and break the chains crumbling our world
 
let love win
 
 
 

A Prayer

Dear Father,

Thank You for the breath of life. Thank You for the depth of Your love. Thank You for never giving up on me.

Please help me to shine Your Light with the gifts you have bestowed on me. Show me how to see with Your eyes all that is happening in this world around me. Guide my heart to hear those in pain, so that I may wrap Your arms around them. Rid my mind of judgment and resentment, so I can be free to love and understand myself, and free to love and understand others.

As I hear sirens pass down the road, I pray for all involved. As I listen about a recent shooting, I pray for all involved. As I learn of a natural disaster destroying cities, I pray for all involved.

But what I understand from Your Word is that prayer includes action.

I pray for guidance to move in Your direction; not sit back and ask: “Why?”

I pray for courage to answer the question: “What more can I do right now?”

Amen