So this past Friday Grandpa & I went to "Be the Spark" Rally at the Tacoma Dome. The purpose was to bring people together as a community, to get pumped up to make a difference! I was so surprised that so many people care, you know??? Because sometimes I can get so cynical--and it seems like the general public is indifferent about poverty and suffering locally and globally. Friday I was overwhelmed to see this perception completely contradicted! Local youth from the schools and YMCA attended and the fact that they're reaching out & volunteering is a gigantic relief to me. Humanity is sinful and flawed and all that stuff, but sometimes people can be so dang SURPRISING in their sincere love and altruism. From the first song I was crying. It was this indie hip funk alt. band playing some awesome jamz but then this incredible black rapper started performing parts of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream Speech" over it all and I just about lost it. I was crying at the beauty of his dream--of peace, of reconciliation and mostly of HOPE. That he could have dared to dream of "the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood" in the middle of all the overwhelming overt racism, hate, history of oppression--I just am not quite sure how he did it.
I've been so afraid to dream this year--for a better future, for good to prevail. All this striving for peace and justice can feel like one giant loss after another. I started to doubt my idealistic visions of wholeness and goodness and progress even, towards a global community. I have had my share of disappointments in seeing the suffering of clients, and nothing changing (e.g. oppressive immigration law), but I don't think that's reason to not expect any change--it sure isn't reason to not expect anything better from God, or from ourselves.
And that's why I think Desmond Tutu is so special. Look how warm and fun and adorable he looks! Every time he laughed on Friday I felt like I could be happy for the rest of my life & nothing mattered anymore. :) He, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., faced intense hatred and oppression. He struggled. He fought. Yet through it all he has maintained his sense of humor, hope and faith in God.
His sermon that night was very interesting. I'd listened to some of his other stuff so I was a bit familiar with his theology. The way he sees it, things are just messed up here on earth. Just plain messed. And he sees God as, in many situations of injustice, powerless. Powerless. Isn't that crazy? That God sees all this icky stuff happening and "all he can do is cry," the Archbishop states. In the following clip he describes it as such: "the omnipotent becomes impotent."
God requires human partners. He relies on us to act in the world. There's a woman in my Sunday school class who shared today, "This is the first time in my life ever that I have said yes to what God has asked of me. And I know without a doubt that I am exactly where I should be." She's a mother of two and is studying to be an RN. I mean, I think this is what God is asking of us. To be courageous. To say yes to him. Imagine the possibilities.
I slept in until 11:30am today, and yet three hours later I was drooping and tempted to nap.
Lately, I've just been pretty tired and not very motivated. The smallest tasks exhaust me, from going to Thurgood Marshall to reading a journal article for class to spending time with friends to cooking--even spending time in prayer and reading the Bible. It just makes me tired! Like always, I try so hard to keep up but eventually fall behind.
People keep asking me what summer plans are, and to be honest, I think all that I could handle after this ravaging school year is big fat nothing. I feel bad about not having the drive and the energy to pursue a paying job (it would have been the first of my life), but I am seeing that the burn-out within goes very deep.
It's to the point that I actually dread future service (next school year as an intern at ACRS) because it depletes me so much currently. My energy and inspiration tank is running quite low. So this summer I'm moving home with Mom & Dad and will try to observe some semblance of a sabbatical. I feel a bit of a failure for being so weak as to have to come to this point, but I honestly really need some rest.
The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed. (Psalm 103:6)
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart (Isaiah 40:11)
I have to trust that even as I withdraw from "the scene" for awhile, God is at work.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
It's time for me to bow out for a bit. I'm praying for the strength to make it through the rest of this quarter! Panic attack free, plz. :)