2020. There are so many things we could call it. The season of change or the season of getting uncomfortable. I'm super grateful that you are taking time out of your day, out of everything that's going on with you to, to join me so we can pause and reflect and work on being a little bit more intentional in our thoughts, words, and actions, I've been really touched by people who have reached out to me over the last week and have said that they enjoyed the podcast and found meaning in last week's podcast. It certainly took a lot of reflection for me to figure out exactly what to say. And I'm still trying to figure out how to continue our theme and the goals of Intentional Ten with what's going on in the world.
I think it's important for us to not lose traction, not to lose the momentum. We can't just say, okay, we talked about civil rights, about injustices that are happening around us. We can't say we're talking about how much black lives matter and then move back to our regularly scheduled programming. The point of Intentional Ten is to be intentional in everything that you're doing in your daily life. And that really reflections in what's going on in the world around you.
So we have to continue this discussion for anybody who is still on the fence about how we're going about these things or perhaps doesn't feel like this is an important topic. I want to start today's reflection with a verse, a Bible verse. This is from Luke 15:1-7, and this really helped me to wrap my head around things. I'm just going to be honest. There was a time when I didn't understand the Black Lives Matter movement because I was sort of like, "Yeah, well, how can we say that black lives matter when all lives matter?" I was in that boat for a while and this helped me understand how to get out of that way of thinking, which was narrow-minded. It's so much more than that. So this is the parable of the lost sheep:
"Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus, but the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." Then Jesus told them this parable: Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn't he leave the 99 in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, rejoice with me. I have found my lost sheep! I tell you that in the same way, there will be more rejoicing in heaven, over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who did not need to repent."
Now, obviously I'm not going into the whole sinning and repenting thing, but rather about the concept of that 99 that got "left behind." Does that mean that the shepherd didn't love them or didn't care for them? Of course not! You have to take care of the one who's in danger. The one who could get hurt and the one who could get killed. This really spoke to me that yes, of course all lives matter, (I know that, we all know that) but you have to take care of the ones that are in danger right now. That's black lives that matter. We have to fixing the police brutality and things that are happening there, but even more - our culture, our system as a whole and how that is a barrier for so many people. So, of course all lives matter, but that's not what this is about.
I can relate to this concept in my own life. I've mentioned before - I have a daughter with a genetic disorder and it pains me that even though I've got three kids, but there are some days where I have to take care of the little one and, you know, maybe ignore or pay less attention to the other two. If we're out playing outside the little one she falls easily; she's got low tone. She might need a little extra help with feedings so that she doesn't choke on something. So she just naturally needs more attention than the other two because they can handle themselves. It doesn't mean that I love them any less, gosh no!, but when they're okay and she needs something a little bit more in that moment, then I have to do that.
It is important for to us to not brush over this as a thing that's happening on social media and in the public and just wonder when is it over, just like Covid-19. There is no final end date. I saw an Instagram post from Leslie Dwight, you can follow her at @LeslieDwight. This really spoke to me in terms of feeling like 2020 is just sort of a "wash year" or "a disaster." So Leslie wrote:
"What if 2020 isn’t cancelled?
What if 2020 is the year we’ve been waiting for?
A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw — that it finally forces us to grow.
A year that screams so loud, finally awakening us from our ignorant slumber.
A year we finally accept the need for change.
Declare change. Work for change. Become the change. A year we finally band together, instead of
pushing each other further apart.
2020 isn’t cancelled, but rather
the most important year of them all.”
Isn't that so true?! I was already feeling it a little bit with Covid-19 and how it forced everyone to shut down and do less - to really focus on the important things and let everything else go. To really value time with family and friends. And here it comes again with this movement. I'm sure it'll happen again this year. Hurricane season is right around the corner and I live in North Carolina where it will start soon in July. So I'm sure that we will have more disaster and more hard times that bring us down. And then we will have to build ourselves back up - a better version of ourselves.
So it's important for us to figure out what that means for ourselves. And then turn that into action. Again, that's the key piece. It does take some time to sort of wrap your head around it all and process it. But once you do that, then we have to act. So maybe you're financially stable or you're wealthy. Maybe you donate to different causes, people who are doing the right thing that you can help financially. Maybe you're a lawyer and you understand the legal aspects of things. Maybe you're in healthcare and you understand the racial disparities in health and the ways that we can bring people up from that standpoint. So, figure out what your skill is and how you can contribute to this extremely important issue. I hope you're working on figuring out whatever that is to you, whether you're white, black, or something else. How does it relate to you and what can you do?
It's very overwhelming, and at times, heavy, sad, and depressing. So it's a happy medium of not just ignoring it and moving on, because it's too hard to bear, but also stepping up with activism and action and the desire to do good in the world without wearing yourself out.
You have to take care of yourself if you're going to go take care of others.
For guided reflections, be sure to check out the podcast Episode 7 or 8 of Season 3.
Talk to you soon!