This week, rumors of an impending local protest have
restarted the barely paused conversations of the Ferguson trial and all that
surrounds it. Hash tags came back
in full force pitting #alllivesmatter against #blacklivesmatter. As arguments brewed on news forums and
social media, I sat on my bed and in an instant,watched socially correct fall away and hate
arise. Though I desperately want
our city to be a changed place and our society racially friendly, when issues like this surface the facades fall away.
I am certainly someone who feels ALL the feelings… and it is
a temptation to jump on a side of an argument and FIGHT! In my earlier years,
I’d be willing to go on a warpath, leaving bodies in my wake strictly to make a
point. But, now I have a different
My family isn’t “white” anymore. And we aren’t “black” either. We are both. I’ve
been given a gift of entering sacred ground where I can see a bit of both
sides. Not just from a racial stand point, but in all areas of my life.
And I’ve learned that it’s in the gray where things change.
In life, there are times where we feel so passionate about
an issue, that we would do anything to see change. I know. I’ve
been there. And although my
friends and family didn’t necessarily understand or even agree with the issue,
they loved me and therefore supported
It’s sort of like when your boyfriend played a sport in high
school. You didn’t give a rip
about soccer or sports or all the athletic-y stuff, but that boy had your
heart. So, you never missed a
game. Were you a soccer fan?
No. You were a boyfriend fan.
I’m learning we
can either support issues or people. Some issues may never change while we are
here on earth. But people… our
PEOPLE are all we have. We belong to each other. So, if someone I love needs to take a stand for something I don’t understand? That’s ok. I will stand
too. Maybe I don't even agree with them. That's ok too. Because I know that some day
soon it will be my turn, and when I look back, I’ll need them behind me saying "I'm with her. Her voice matters." I'll need them to believe in me, in spite of their beliefs.
I learned a new word this week. It’s called the Mandorla. This is an ancient symbol of two circles coming together, overlapping one
another to form an almond shape in the middle. It symbolizes the interactions of opposing worlds and forces.
To step into the Mandorla is to move beyond "either-or" thinking -
even beyond ideas of common ground or compromise - and stand in the tension of
opposites long enough for something new to emerge.
I just keep thinking about what a difference we could make if we were
brave enough to step away from our “side” and towards the middle. What if we let go of a stand, and held on to our neighbor? Even when it didn't make sense? What if we let down our guard,
surrendered our right to be “right” and boldly waited in the middle. I don't think we'd be alone for long. I'll bet we’d look
across and see others slowly walking toward us….entering the middle circle, willing to
believe in change. Willing to believe in gray.