This post is for everybody who feels as if they are on the margins in society. I understand. As an only child by birth, the youngest in my blood extended family by a lot, and some who was born with CP: I get it. I get all of the feelings of being different, wrong, misunderstood, underestimated, and being seemingly, often, invisible when I leave the comforting familiarity of my apartment. However, I have good news for my fellow misfits.
God me a sister. Giving me what I always wanted and did not know I needed. A place to belong. A community to lean on. A soft place to land. God gave me extraordinary individuals who see me, all of me, even the parts I do not like; and somehow, they love me and want me in their lives. What a gift. What a blessing. If God did that for me: God can do it for you as well.
God gave me/my chosen brother/journey partner a crazy/beautiful journey I trust when nothing else makes sense. With our shared journey comes gifts I am just starting to understand and tap into on a regular basis. All these truths led me to questions. What would the world look like if we all treated each other more like family instead of: strangers, teams, parties, or sides? Imagine how the world would change? Imagine what we could do? Now, how do we start? I have ideas that follow below.
1. For those of us who follow Jesus: remember that the ground is level at the foot of the cross. 2-10 is for all of us.
2. Stop putting each other in boxes
3. Stop judging each other scrapping our need to be right and instead listen.
4. We talk. We really talk. We have discussions and debate issues. Coming to these conversations knowing they are going to be rough. There is going to be lots of raw, hurt, feelings once we open our mouths. We say I respect, and I hear you. We do more than say it. We mean it. We remember we are all in this together. We outstretch our hands and stand with all our fellow humans. Even the ones we do not agree with or understand.
5. Look for ways to serve and for ways to encourage. We look for ways to engage those around us.
6. Become braver every day. We quit fearing standing up for anyone who is different or marginalized.
7. Remember we all far more alike than different
8. Give money to causes that are important to us as well as other resources. Time is the most valuable resource we can give to anyone who needs help.
9. We LOVE: extravagantly, insanely, completely, totally, and then we love some more.
10. We apologize (when warranted), ask for forgiveness, and do our best to do better.
Am I perfect at all of this: NO. I am an epic mess of a work in progress. That is the point and more than okay. If I never give up, I have a chance to do better. I have a chance to be better. I will keep working on all this striving to be better as long as I am on this planet. I hope you all will join me in making the world better, too.