It was, I think, the poem heard ’round the world. When Amanda Gorman stepped up to the microphone at the Inauguration of President Joe Biden yesterday, the air was electric. I wept, when I got a chance to watch her recital on a rerun. She was not only eloquent in her delivery (and another public speaker who battled a speech impediment up until even the last couple of years), she was also absolutely prophetic. Casting a vision of America as it could be, as it should be.
There were so many brilliant turns of phrase in her work – the ‘just-is/justice’ bit and the ‘quiet is not always peace’ and the ‘victory won’t lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we made.”
But what I loved best was that she called it brave to see the light, and to be the light. She is absolutely correct. It is brave to be kind. Brave to be generous. Brave to open your heart to love others, because an open heart can (and will) get hurt.
Jesus calls us to be brave. As He was: brave enough to teach the truth, even though it would anger his enemies to the point that they would have him betrayed, arrested, and executed; brave enough to endure pain that is beyond imagination, because bringing peace between God and humanity required sacrifice; brave enough to love those who would ultimately hurt Him; brave enough to see his mission through to it’s bitter end because that end was only a beginning, after all.
Until tomorrow, dear friends, I encourage you to be brave, to see the light and to be the light.
(And of course, here is a link to Amanda Gorman reciting her poem because it bears watching again and again!)
Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. day in the States. And I found myself with mixed emotions – sadness at the racial divides which continue, fear over what might happen around the inauguration tomorrow, hope at the continuing conversations that at are happening around racism, and as with all things at this point in the pandemic, a tinge of exhaustion.
In trying to fend off fear and exhaustion, I hold to this, one of my favourite quotes by MLK:
And that’s the thing. When I focus on love, when I focus on light, I find the fear and exhaustion retreat. They may not entirely flee from me – the world is a dark and scary and tiring place right now – but when I focus on the light and love of Jesus, I find hope and peace. And I need those things to make it through.
So let’s commit to love, to light. To pushing back against fear, sadness, exhaustion, and most of all, hate.
Until tomorrow, dear friends, keep focusing on love and light, and always on the One who is The Light of the World.
As we continue through difficult days in Ontario, I hope these resources will bring some joy and hope to you.
Let’s begin with this thought about faith (also, being ok doesn’t mean never being sad, hurt or confused):
And on that same point, here is Kristene DiMarco singing “It is well,” a song that reminds us that when we fix our eyes on God, all is well with us (and then morphs into the hymn It is Well With My Soul!):
This lovely reminder of what God says:
This lovely version of Amazing Grace by For King and Country:
As I’m travelling through various social media feeds, I’ve learned to save anything that might be (as one of my friends puts it) – blog fodder. Early in the pandemic, I lost a couple of things that I’d really wanted to blog about. So now, anytime, even if there’s just the slightest chance that I might want to us it in the future, it gets saved. I end up with a lot of stuff on my phone. And sometimes there are themes.
Recently both of these were things I saved:
In light of the storm we’ve been in all year, and the worsening mental health that many may be experiencing, I thought both these reminders were timely.
God is still here, no matter what other (unhelpful) voices are whispering in your ear.
And this will not last forever. (I tell myself that regularly, and it really does help.)
Hold on, dear friends. And when you hold on, hold on to God – not to negative voices, anxiety, depression, fear, stress, and doubt. God is greater than all those other things combined.
Until tomorrow, dear friends, remember that our God is the Everlasting God.