Sunday, July 17, 2016


smh - "shake my head" text lingo

That is about all I could do as the news from around the world came flooding in the last week or so. 

cmeo - "cry my eyes out" or bmh - "break my heart"  are likely not commonly used text abbreviations but give this crazy world a few minutes and you just might see them cropping up. 

So much to be so sad and daunted by and feel so hopeless about.  

In my many steps walked I have prayed for all of it.

And for me.

What should my response be?  what should I do or say?

I find big feelings stirring watching the drama of "Black lives matter" being subverted to "All live matter".   I grew up with white privilege and the power and pain it brought me personally.  Many times I literally longed not to be white.  Or I longed not to be judged just because of the colour of my skin.  I wanted to be known for who I was not how I looked because how I look makes a difference in this world -  a difference heavily in my favour. 

Of course all lives matter - DUH - if that were not a universal principle then the world would descend into anarchy and worse.  Instead we guard life, we celebrate life, we work to have lives of meaning and we dream of lives of peace and health and prosperity.

But Black lives, in many places and clearly in the USA, matter more right now.  Because they are under disproportionate attack.  Not for who they are or what they do but simply because they are black skinned.  We  - the privileged people of the pale skin - must stand up and be part of the solution here.  To deny your immense privilege through zero effort on your part is only to choose to stay part of the culture that continues to be driven by fear and mistrust based on nothing more than colour.  

It is such a complex issue and we have had some very deep conversation in our home and circles of friends and this blog post is no solution - it's just been striking to me that my life in Apartheid South Africa - and the luck I had of being brought up to understand my privilege - is a lesson lost on many today.  It is not lost on my children now - I can't afford for them not to understand, at some level, the luck of their birthright, country of citizenship and all the other benefits afforded them.  

I carry these weighty thoughts around with me, thinking for long stretches of time, contemplating actions and reactions - sometimes trying to think about other happier or more mundane things and sometimes wallowing in the pain I know others are feeling.

These last few Sundays I have found myself alone.  Allan writing papers, Lindsay working, David away.  I hate going to church on my own.....I don't really know why... but I do ... so I have planned my Sundays to keep me moving, to practice a little self care for my body and my mind and my heart. 

I have walked miles, gardened, had a pedicure, done the groceries, cooked, cleaned, baked... Surprisingly I find myself emerging a little as I do these things on my own.  I have found space and the return of some creativity, some rest, enjoyment of the prayer life is better, my self-talk more positive and my life feels a little more balanced.

So while there have been many moments that "bmh" and I have "cmeo" and "smh"..... there are also many affirming moments, moments of joy and connection and LIFE.  

From me, on this self-care Sunday, to you..... wrestle with the hard things and be humble and graceful and embrace your story and take care of your heart.... we need each other.

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