like a new born child
"I've been waiting for love to give birth
for new life to show pain its worth
I've been waiting for peace on earth
Like a newborn child."
I was enroute to a conference on freedom and justice and while the music played I read an interview of a prominent congressman who has fought his whole life for freedom and was being interviewed about how he felt as the confederate flag that flew proud and strong in south carolina was finally put in a museum. He said it was time. And that the lowering of the flag meant the speedy advance of a whole lot of healing - and although way later than expected - it was still here now, and that was something.
I was a bit shocked at his graciousness. The interview showed a picture of him as a young man being beaten by a policeman in a protest for equal rights - the policeman had a confederate flag on his helmet and held a bat in his raised fist, ready to unleash some inequality with a blow. Turns out this man has been fighting for freedom and healing ever since the pain of inequality hit his young skull. Now, that is something.
I couldn't help but make the connection with my own list I was making. I've been wading through some steps for months now. One of them involves making amends. It's a hard process because things are complicated and memory is blury and well, it's been a long time, oh, and did I mention it requires a lot of humility?
But the words of the congressmen really hit me. "although way later than expected, it's here now. And that is something." And the sense of God's plan for the world emerging, eventually, began to bloom in my mind. And that's when the inevitable dots began to connect. There can be no racial equality or healing or freedom without humility. Without grace. What congressman understands is what everyone must eventually come to understand - healing takes time and it begins, not in only the public square but in the dark corners of our hearts and lives. Far from covering up the past with some nostalgic brush of forgetful cultural excuses, we deal with it. One offense at a time.
We forgive. We own the junk in our backyard. We say sorry. and we try to mean it. In my house we have a saying that "sorry means we don't do it again." I pray thats what it means to me. And what it means to south carolina and all the other places that need to lower their flags of hate in order to allow love to give birth, for life to show pain its worth, for peace on earth.
I pray we could all be like a new born child.