I have been trying to write this email for the last two weeks. And every time I try to put words down, it just feels like I’m saying blah…blah…blah…
My heart is heavy. There’s a lump in my throat. And what I think doesn’t matter. I don’t presume for one moment that I know what to say that will encourage or help you in these days following the death of George Floyd.
My friend, Morgan Harper Nichols, has graciously given me permission to share a poem that she composed and shared on her Instagram feed. I offer it to you today as a prayer. I trust Morgan. She is a deep soul and an authentic voice. You would do well to follow her at @morganharpernichols
A Poem by Morgan Harper Nichols
Reprinted with permission
Engage in the long, faithful work.
Surrender the need of striving
to be the best or always right
and focus instead on leaning into Light,
that reveals all things.
All that is good
and all that stands to be corrected,
And as you lean into Light,
be gentle with the word “darkness.”
For more than it merely means wrong or bad,
it is also the color of a full, starless night sky,
and actual bodies
of human beings
who have been overlooked
too many times.
Many, many words
hold more than one meaning.
Language on “light” and “dark” may have its place,
and this is also true,
this very language has been used to say,
“You are a threat. I am not. I am worth more than you.”
It takes kindness to understand this, for
even though kindness is a beautiful word.
it does not mean that nothing gets disrupted.
Sometimes a way of thinking must be interrupted
in order for kindness to truly thrive.
For as sure as kindness
leans into what is good,
it also speaks about what isn’t right.
It is compassionate and gentle
when long histories are pulled from mourning into morning.
Engage in the long, faithful work
with your heart and mind open to the possibility
that things are more complex than they once seemed.
And as hard as it is to hold all of this,
you are still free to dream:
you do not have to be who you used to be.
You do not have to think the way you used to think.
You are free to take hopeful, thoughtful action
in pursuit of better things.
So here’s to new beginnings,
knowing it is impossible to ignore the long history,
opening up to the mystery
that grace still finds you here.
And grace is unmerited favor
but it might not always look the way you want it to.
It will invite you out in the open
and it will also reveal what has been broken.
You might have to unlearn the way you thought things would be.
You might find that being undone
is the best way to move on, humbly, mindfully, wholly.
For how liberating it is
to pursue wholeness over perfection,
finding that grace is more than a beautiful word,
but a daily act of being undone, an awakening, a direction.