How do I write about this? How do I tell you what I've learned, what I still don't know or understand, what I've seen, how I see it, and what my very limited experience with this subject matter has been like, without sounding disingenuous and totally out of my league? How do I tell you about my time in NYC over the last two days listening to the powerful stories of women who survived unimaginable atrocities... about how I came to be there and why it matters? How do I open my heart and show you what's in there? How do I make that even worth your time, get you to pause, and to care about it the way I am beginning to? How do I do all of that sensitively?
Truth is, I don't. You will hear it if you're meant to. It will change you, if it's meant to. It's not about me. It's way bigger than me.
There's a lot going on in my head right now and I'm just gonna let it spill onto a page a little at a time this week. I'll come right out of the gate saying that my perspective comes from a place of faith (though often weak) in a God I trust. From a heart that longs for peace, not just abroad... but right here, in my own currently very divided country.
Division is insidious. The very nature of it, splits us into factions that hurt each other needlessly, sometimes irrevocably. To cling so tightly to a broken and bleeding belief system that keeps us from stepping across those dividing lines, carries with it the distinct possibility of erasing our own humanity. I have heard the word "revolution" tossed around in the last month way too often, and with way too little gravity. Revolution is brutal.
I think, we have some hard lessons to learn yet. That is growing ever more apparent and before you get on your moral high horse and point your finger across party lines you've drawn for yourself in the sand, I want you to listen to one woman, who managed under the most dire of circumstances and in the midst of the kind of terror most of us have never personally experienced, nor ever will... to erase those lines with grace and with the kind of dignity I aspire to.
Immaculee was not a part of my experience in NYC this past weekend. I learned about her because of a video that photographer Jeremy Cowart made earlier this year titled "I'm Possible", in which he referenced the documentary, "As We Forgive." Jeremy said, "I shouldn't aim for greatness and stop there. Greatness should serve a greater purpose." His project, Voices of Reconciliation, photographically documents "Rwandan genocide survivors, standing with the people that killed their families and whom they've now forgiven."
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name... and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us...
Love changes everything.