What an interesting week I had!
Last week, I observed (and soaked in) the warmth of the sunshine and calmness of the Ocean. (I got many wonderful responses from so many of you, which stretched this gift into an even bigger blessing!)
And this week… well, it was a bit different…
First, David and I did a fun FB live chat – if you are on FB, you can watch it here
. It’s becoming a ‘Tajci and David Show’ with music, laughter and inspiration 🙂
Then, on Wednesday, I was a part of “Job” – a musical by John Angotti. We sang about suffering and love and God. People loved it and cried and applauded in a standing ovation.
And I thought: Can we now please take what we sing about in our sacred places and turn it into practice?
Can we get out of our safe places and echo chambers, where singing and talking about compassion and forgiveness makes us feel like we are doing something?
We closed the show singing: “We gather at table, we stand all as one, embracing our longings for healing and love.The homeless and the hopeless, the dying and the lame, the beaten and the battered, Love is real, so let’s unite.” This was the answer John Angotti offered to the question: Why bad things happen to good people? – instead of asking “why,” what we can do is show up in times of suffering and bring hope, love and healing…
I needed to hear this… and grow a bit more compassionate. You see, for the past three months I’ve been working on organizing a benefit for Nashville Peacemakers. In so doing, I have been surprised at how little response I’m getting from people who, I believe, truly want to help those less fortunate. I am not sure where the disconnect is…
I get that each of us struggles as well, don’t get me wrong. Life in today’s America is tough – we all are busy, and stressed, and overwhelmed, and doing our best to keep our heads above water… Not everyone is able to help. I get that.
I also understand that some feel they aren’t ready yet because they themselves are in the process of healing – I get that need for staying in that safe space. There was a time I was so wrapped up in my own pain that I thought I COULDN’T help. I, too, was scared of stretching out of my comfort zone. But when I finally did stretch out, all that I had learned in sacred rituals became ALIVE. Love and grace and forgiveness were no longer distant concepts but God in flesh.
For me, it happened in the meditation circle at Thistle Farms and in meeting one of their graduates – Ms. Clemmie Greenlee (the founder of Nashville Peacemakers). It also happened for me recently while attending the graduation ceremony for one of Nashville Peacemakers’ programs – at a small chapel in Nashville. This is where Pastor William Greene pointed at the graduating boys and their mentors, and said: “This is your sermon. Nothing I can tell you or preach on can be better. This is making Gospel tangible.”
But what saddens me is that too often, when we are called to actually do something, we get scared. We look at our leaders (ministers and priests) for a stamp of approval, as if we aren’t sure if the non-judgmental compassion and love for our neighbor (and for every one and every thing in God’s creation) is the right thing to do…
If you need healing, take time to heal. If you are under stress, turn to your community – they will support you. But if you are scared to act let me encourage you… let go of fear… helping others will help you heal. God is very present and real where there is suffering.
My wish is for you to go out courageously and live what you believe.
Take the gifts of the Ocean, the strength of your faith, the grace from God, all your hours spent in prayer and contemplation – let it all empower you to go out to make a difference. You will experience Grace in action, which is a really amazing thing!