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Jen Dickey

There is a sacred nature to mornings I didn’t always experience or appreciate. I open my eyes to the gift of a new day as I breathe in gratitude for being alive. More often than not I go bed on an empty tank so waking to a new day, new hope, new opportunity and possibility brings me back to what is true. Opening the bedroom curtains and blinds I cradle my first cup of coffee and stand at the windowsill and watch the sun come out from hiding. Sometimes I’m greeted with hues of pink, purple, and orange, while other mornings it pierces its bright blue canvas. As I sip away, I’m taken aback at the speed in which the sun makes itself known, completely uninhibited, doing as it knows to do.

Peace seems to fade quickly as I step away from the window and prepare for the rest of the day. I suddenly find myself having imaginary arguments in my head which the shower water doesn’t seem to clear, so I turn to whatever song comes up for me in the moment. Sometimes it’s songs from churches or college choir that I haven’t thought of in years, while sometimes they are silly diddys of the moment to make myself chuckle, yet somehow I’ve managed to be in contention with bits of John Lennon’s song Imagine.

No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man.
Well yeah, how could we want differently?

Nothing to kill or die for.
Not going to happen, too much hate.

Imagine all the people living life in peace. . .
I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one. . .
Just imagine we are one. Just imagine.

I am hardly jarred by the sound of my balled up sopping washcloth hitting the side of the shower before it sinks to the tub, and I can no longer distinguish my tears from the stream that beats against my head.

I don’t want to f****ing imagine. I’m tired of imagining. I want to experience it and not just sing about it, not just be in wishful thinking. I want it to be known and lived. I want it to be embraced. But people don’t want it. And people don’t care. And people just want to hate, and harm, and kill, and destroy each other. America continues to promote a culture of hatred, violence, rape, abuse of power, racism, and there are excuses and justifications for it all and many are eating it up, sh****g it out and throwing it at others. I am so damn sick of all of this being passed as normal and acceptable! It’s not okay! It’s not! YOU’RE STILL NOT LISTENING!!!

I hold my head in my hands unable to breathe, my mouth open with no sound coming out while I silently sob, gutted by my thoughts and grieving the current state of affairs in America and beyond. Ten minutes before I had watched the sunrise with hope in my heart, a beautiful piece of art I had now mentally ripped from the fridge and tore furiously into pieces. I manage to finish getting ready and be still again in a time of prayer and meditation before work. I won’t be able to conceal my puffy eyes, a telltale sign I’ve been crying. I forgive myself for how I’ve shown up this morning and pray for the restoration of peace in my mind and heart.

Can you relate? Have you been angry lately? Feeling despair? Hopelessness? Fear? Anxiety? Have those emotions seemed to creep in on your joy, hope, and peace? My Facebook feed is filled with such evidence of loved ones feeling depleted and deeply saddened. There is an unfortunate comfort there — comfort in knowing I’m not alone in what I feel yet unfortunate as to the quantity of those feeling similarly.

Every generation sees its woes and there are always those who feel it’s the end of times. Many hold onto the hope and promise that Jesus is going to come back and sweep up the elect to heaven. I remember days of past holding out my hitchhikers thumb while saying “Any time now, seriously.” While that brings comfort to some, I think it can also be an opportunity to be passive and numb because there’s a possible excuse for not dealing with this mess so we just bide the time. I feel like that is potentially another layer of giving up under the guise of faith for some. For many others it’s a fire to reach people as a messenger of hope, and demonstrate what Jesus truly taught which is to love one another, clothe one another, feed one another, help one another, welcome one another, see the Christ in one another, and embrace one another.

No matter what you believe both despair and hope are palpable. There’s a powerful song written by my dear friend Michael Gott (and Melissa Felippe) about holding the high watch for one another as we remember the truth of who and what we are, and I also believe this song speaks to holding hope in all global circumstances:

When I forget will you remember for me? When I forget will you remember for me? Help me see what you see when I forget.

When you forget I will remember for you. When you forget I will remember for you. I will see what you can’t see when you forget.

Even as I retype these lyrics they feel like droplets of fuel. . .of hope. We all have moments of forgetting and losing sight of hope and truth but thank goodness it’s not everyone all at the same time. We hold space for one another. In this moment I am currently not in a space where I cannot hold it for everyone else — my tank is empty and I’ve come in for a pit stop. Those that can see it, feel it, believe it are doing so until I can and then I return the favor for others. Community and connection are so important right now. And in a time I’d rather pull away it’s important to voice what is needed. I recently did that for myself and the response was swift, but not until I could be vulnerable or have courage to share authentically.

My question to you, beloveds, are you willing to allow yourself to be seen and heard so things can change and you can be supported? Are you willing to stop being preoccupied with what others might think of you or your process and trigger the shift you need? And are you willing to see that you doing so creates a ripple effect inspiring others to do the same? That’s how shift happens, gradually, intentionally, courageously. We don’t have the luxury of falling asleep to the pain and needs of the world. We need each other, perhaps now more than ever. So speak up. Fill up. Show up.

I love you all.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to subscribe to Called to Courage to catch the latest posts. If you would like to make a donation in appreciation of my work you can do so through PayPal. Blessings!

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