We live in a time where seeing the genuine care and concern for one another is crucial. A deep and profound sense that we are working together for the good of each other. So often our society sends a message that we are independent, and all we need to do is just work harder and we’ll make it. This is a false narrative, rather we genuinely need one another in a healthy way. I believe that the teachings this week are calling us to be “Our Sister or our Brother’s Keeper.
The challenge is the age old question, the very one that even Jesus was confronted with. “Who is my neighbor.”? or better said “Who is my brother, or who is my sister? So the reality that the life of my sister matters even is she doesn’t look like me, the life of my brother has to be considered as valuable even if he is different from me. What is vital is to begin to see in her face, or his face my actual sister or brother that I have a responsibility to care for.
When I see the Prophet Ezekiel in the 33rd chapter speak boldly to the responsibility we have toward one another. Namely calling one another to task when we act wrongly, are unjust and intolerable in our treatment of one another.
“You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel;
when you hear me say anything, you shall warn them for me.”
The prophet was to call the people back to their proper relationship with God and to one another. There is accountability and we must seek to bring our sister or brother to act justice, and walk tenderly with our God. Micah 6:8, “He has shown you, O mankind, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?“
It surprises me that many people seem to say, they don’t want all this “politics, that what is happening to someone, someplace else has nothing to do with me.” This lack of empathy, and acknowledgement is, I believe, the first step to healing as a nation and a world. Although many don’t want to talk about it the prophet response is to invite the discussion, welcome to objections and misconceptions. Yes welcome it, it is only when true feelings and perceptions are made known that they can be recognized, and then through loving witness and sharing be transformed by the renewal of their minds and hearts.
We want to invite opportunities to come together and share their feelings. What we seek is the change of hearts, the transformation of peoples lives. This past week we celebrated and remembered that 57 years ago, prior to my own birth, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, marched on Washington.
In Dr. King’s “I have a Dream,” speech he spoke about seeing “little black boys and black girls … able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” When scanning the images on August 28, 2020, you can see individuals from different races walking together. Many of the individuals who attended the march were younger than 57. His grand-daughter, Yolanda Renee King, spoke these words, “We are the dreams of our grandparents, great grandparents and ancestors.” She closed her speech in the rhythmic African American tradition of call and response. Yolanda King shouted, “Show me what democracy looks like?” And the crowd responded, “This is what democracy looks like.” Michael P. Howard, M.A.
I close with this thought
The horizon leans forward, Offering you space to place new steps of change. Here, on the pulse of this fine day You may have the courage To look up and out upon me, The rock, the river, the tree, your country. No less to Midas than the mendicant. No less to you now than the mastodon then. Here on the pulse of this new day You may have the grace to look up and out And into your sister’s eyes, Into your brother’s face, your country And say simply Very simply With hope Good morning. (except from Pulse of the Morning by Maya Angelo)