Wednesday, February 19, 2020

"you have safe passage through my heart..."

"so I'm gonna
stand up,
take my people
with me;
together we are going
to a brand new home..."

I really, truly hope that if you do nothing else after finding this post, you will watch this video of Cynthia Erivo's studio recording of "Stand Up," from her Academy Award winning film "Harriet." And if you haven't seen the film, please, please, please do.

I was first introduced to the film through this music video when it was shared with me last month. It took me apart. I felt it in my bones. All of it. The fear, the triumph, the disappointment, the frustration, the trust in God's care for each of us as we navigate an underground journey from sense to Soul, and from shackled - to free. Whether we have been bound by actual chains, self-doubt, socio-economic underprivileged, or opinions about who we are and what we are capable of rising above - this film strikes the marrow.

Yesterday my dear friend Molly posted a quote, on Facebook, that resonated so deeply with me.  It set a match to something I have been thinking about for months.  And its fervency stopped me in my tracks:

Grant people
safe passage
through your thoughts
no judgment,
no condemnation..."
It reached down into my heart and gripped me in a way that wouldn't let go.  I felt a clear, Harriet Tubman-like calling. "Yes," it said, "this is my purpose." To be safe passage. To make sure that everyone who comes through my heart - and soul and mind - is taken in, nourished, re-clothed, hidden with Christ in God, and brought to freedom -- on to the other side.

It hasn't always been that way for me. At least not as "impartially and universally," as Mary Baker Eddy insists must be true about real, genuine, authentic, spiritual love, in her primary work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

God knows I tried. But often fell short. Oh, I could always hold the course pretty well on a day-to-day basis. That is, until someone said something cruel, or hurt someone I loved. Then watch out. My heart was often not a safe place for someone to wander through, if I thought their words or actions were undeserving -- unkind, mean-spirited, inhumane, etc.

But Harriet's example, and Cynthia's song, and Molly's sharing of that unattributed quote -- which she heard from a friend-of-a-friend who didn't remember where she'd heard it --  woke me up. And it suffused every mental molecule with a fresh, clear purpose statement:

“be safe passage..."
So, what does that look like for me? I'm just finding out.  But, I intend to get clearer and clearer about this every day. In fact, every single hour, of every single day. If I see a child throwing a tantrum in the grocery store, what am I going to do? Well, I hope will do everything I can to provide that mother/father and their child a gentle pathway through my heart, and through our individual and collective sense of community. No judgment. Only deep compassion, an open heart, willing hands, a ready smile of understanding.

But what about those whose words or actions I really struggle to understand as humane or "christian?" If I can't seem to give them safe passage, that's on me. And I better find it my heart to do so. The work may be long and arduous. I need to be able to discern the broken child behind the angry man, the wounded girl masquerading in sarcasm or disinterest.

But, I can do this. I have a fierce desire to live on purpose -- and I will find a way. For "they" are all my people. Not just the ones I like. Not just the ones who like me. Not just the ones I agree with. I will free the slave, and the slave owner. All His children are my people -- and I will take them with me to a brand new home -- the kingdom of heaven within us all. Impartially. Universally. My heart is an underground railroad. I will be safe passage.

offered with Love,


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