The question posed to our group that stuck with me is one which will be important to consistently revisit. During her remarks, Paulina Olvera, a young activist and community leader in Tijuana asked, “which walls within us or in our hearts perpetuate the physical walls being built in our communities?”
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Is there a better word? New clothes… new car… new house… new job… new day… Don’t those three little letters, N-E-W, sum up all human hopes?
The poor want a new way, a new hope. The affluent want a new challenge, a new adventure. The living want a new opportunity. The dying want a new reality.
It never ends. When we’re born, everything is new, and we die still seeking newness. Every age, every stage brings newness. Could we live without it?
After a few people asked why I was going to participate in the Women’s March on Charlotte, and why was it called a "March for Women" as opposed to a "March for All", I decided that I needed to respond. So I have taken portions of emails I wrote in response to those questions and turned them into this blog post. I am very well aware that everyone that marched will answer the question differently. I can only tell my story. -Amy
Our world seems aimed at perfection, beautiful people, beautiful things, more, bigger, better. A lot of what we strive for in life, hope for in our children, had eluded Albert. The intellect and the opportunity just weren’t in the hand he was dealt, but the unique presence Albert brought to our campus, the life he gave to this world would be misunderstood if we demeaned it as only “special.”
In a world of such maddening events, I am proud, honored and humbled that seven Buddhists from the other side of the world, and at least 150 neighbors, from across my own community, were comfortable to come to a Baptist church, sit for an hour, search the silence of their own souls and the strains of ancient, chanting rhythms, in search of peace.
In his research on “happiness economics,” John Helliwell writes: “if 10 percent more people thought they had someone to count on in life, it would have a greater effect on national life satisfaction than giving everyone a 50% raise.” “Someone to count on” – not economic factors that can be measured - that’s the solution to our problems.
I want to tell you about the best three hours I’ve spent lately.
Mary, who has walked the grounds at 3900 Park Road since there’s been a church on that corner, suddenly found herself dying, alone. I can’t bear that thought. So on Tuesday, I sat. Most of the time she didn’t even know I was there. I’m pretty sure that didn’t even matter.
But something has changed. I believe this. I believe that we are about to engage in a critically important, and extremely difficult, national conversation about the racial injustices inherent in our society. I am not afraid of the conversation that is coming. And it is coming – and all churches need to be involved in it. It’s too important, and the integrity of our faith will require it.