Recently, I have seen posts on Facebook that ask the reader to reflect on the varied plights of individuals from those who have cancer and have been forgotten about to children who are experiencing physical or cognitive disabilities who have been cast aside by society. These chain-like letter posts asks the reader to copy and paste the post to his/her timeline. These posts tug at the heart strings of the reader, and although I believe the intent of these posts is to raise awareness of the struggles of specific groups of people, I found myself feeling uneasy after reading several of them.
I began reflecting on my disturbed thoughts and feelings and discovered several things. One, the language used in many of these posts implies shame, victimization, and basically uses the language of separation. Most pressing for me was a thought that kept surfacing, “How do these posts really make a difference in the lives of the individuals being written about?” This question revealed something that has been alive in me and that is, “How do I and how does our community move from talking about and feeling sympathy for individuals to taking action to not only transform our own lives, but to make a difference in the lives of others? Simply put, “How do I/we move from understanding and talking Truth to living it?
Principle Five in Unity calls us to be the Presence in the world. I am grateful for the Love in action that many of you have displayed in reaching out to individuals in our community who have experienced loss or who are experiencing illness. You have provided meals and rides, and you have been empathetic companions who hug, touch, pray, and behold the sacred worth of those who really need a loving friend who can hold the high watch for them.
Now, I am calling us to be a Presence in our world beyond our walls. Recently, I have had several conversations with individuals from different organizations and non-profits who have elicited our support in out-reaches for foster children and the homeless in NJ. I have been in conversation with a representative from DYFS on how we can provide needed supplies, host a movie-fun night at UBTS, and bring Christmas gifts to foster children in our area. Additionally, on September 30th at 7 PM Jeff Ballo, creator of the movie Destiny’s Bridge, will be airing his documentary about how a minister begins a movement to find affordable housing for those in need. The movie will be free of charge, however, collections will be taken to support affordable housing. Although raising awareness and taking collections is important and noble, I would like us to go a step further. I have aspirations for us to establish relationships with foster children and the homeless. I ask you to join me in being companions of Love to these beautiful individuals who want to be seen, heard, hugged, and cherished. If you are interested in supporting either outreach please contact me at [email protected]. Let our Presence heal and uplift our fellow brothers and sisters.