Saturday, November 19, 2016

Witnessing

The more I read, the more I hear, the more convinced I am that one way we push back the darkness is to live in Love and Light in our ordinary everyday lives. For my Christian friends, you may remember that most people met Jesus while going about their daily lives: the woman at the well, Mary and Martha preparing for guests, Lazarus collecting taxes, Peter fishing. Ordinary people doing ordinary things. 

There is a lot of talk these days about what we can do. One suggestion is to keep on doing what you always do: live your lives full of love for your family and friends, be respectful of all people, and whether you wear a safety pin or not, stand up for what you know to be right. And enjoy your life. If you don’t, then the darkness wins. 

As for the safety pin, let me tell you a story. Back in the ‘80s when apartheid was the law in South Africa, an organization I was a part of begin to wear small black ribbons as a statement against that evil oppression. We marched at the South African Embassy. Some women were even arrested. I was not arrested but I did march and I wore the ribbon. Day after day in my little southern town I wore the ribbon. I may have been the only one in town. And once in a while someone would ask about it. 

When they did, that gave me the opportunity to talk about apartheid, about divesting of stocks in companies that invested in South Africa, or keeping just enough stock to have a vote. Over the several years (yes years) that I wore the ribbon, I had a number of those conversations. It was a very tiny witness in my ordinary space. 

So I would say, if you want to wear the safety pin, wear it. Maybe someone will ask you why and you can witness in your own small way to the very real fright that Muslims, women, the LBGTQ community and others are experiencing right now. Maybe someone will see it on your lapel and know that in that store or on that bus in that moment, there is someone who will stand up for them. And if you don’t want to wear the pin, don’t. Just keep living your life in respect and kindness, in love and grace, teaching your children and friends to be respectful and kind as well.


The big events will happen. You will go to Washington and march. You will call your congress person. You will write letters. You will vote. Or you won’t. And you won’t let the darkness win. My favorite quote during all of this comes from The Hobbit:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

Blessings on this journey, my friends ~ 

2 comments:

Mike Christie said...

The Tolkien quote. So appropriate. Thank you.

Tahoe Mom said...

My friend Nikki first posted it. I have now used it a number of times, thanking her by email for reaching back into our collective literary consciousness and finding it. You are welcome!