Friendship is always
a sweet responsibility,
never an opportunity.
The Network of Grateful Living
This young rapper is singing for his sister. Still living his own youth, he has grown to understand the struggle in life when you are seen as different. Through his words we hear compassion and a maturing sense of justice. Being seen as different is never easy, especially if it means that you are often excluded from activities in daily life.
I have always been sensitive to stories that pull at people’s heartstrings by taking advantage of someone else’s story. Growing up a kid with an obvious disability, I never wanted to be pointed out as different. Acceptance was what I wanted. Acceptance is what this young girl seeks.
Now is the time – our young people need to know it is alright to act on their compassion and concern for justice. To find the courage to stand up when they see wrong-doing and show a different way by word and example.
I want to sing like the birds sing,
not worrying who listens or what they think.
This week a group of Christian educators/faith-formers have joined one another in the mountains of North Carolina for a conference filled with inspiration and resources. Everyone has brought something to enrich the experience. With music, art and reflection we have learned new skills and shared our own insights.
Through the patient guidance of a gifted and faith-filled artist, Roger Hutchinson, I told a story today with finger paint and a white canvas. As we began, I turned with a smile and said – ‘really Roger, finger paint – for someone with little use of their fingers!’ In the midst of this ironic fact, I knew I was game, always have been, and so the painting began.
Limitations are often self-designed. Be it self-conscious or fearful, many opportunities are refused with statements such as ‘I can’t do that’. Yes, it takes courage but as time moves on the need for courage often changes into a healthy dose of curiosity.
We form in faith with one another. Through trust and the stir of God’s spirit, a vision can be born and nurtured into life. I am grateful for those willing to be companions in this journey of faith.