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World Refugee Day: Apocalypse Version


We're nearing the end of June, and I haven't written a blog post since early April. Given our collective experiences lately, coupled with my own heinous circumstances, I don't feel the need to apologize or explain myself. Today, I read a quote that said something like, "Two weeks ago we were all, 'gonna bake some bread,' now we're like, 'gonna tear down some white supremacy.' I don't know what was in that bread, but I'm in." Cue the laughter.

That's a quick turn around. This whole year is giving us all whiplash. The number of people of color being killed unnecessarily is somehow still rising faster than I can keep up with. Daily, I am filled with shame and sorrow over what some in our nation are allowing.

Quarantine was hard for everyone, and the continuing restrictions are still hard. The camp my husband and I work at has had to make some very difficult decisions, and as a result, people will suffer. We are mourning our loss of a normal, chaotic but fulfilling summer.

As a pretty basic white girl who has grown up with so much privilege, I have recently been confronted with the conversation of racism which is still rampant in this country. I've wrestled, lamented, and confessed, but mostly I have done better at listening to the stories, the realities of people of color.

I've been dealing with my own pain and nausea, as well, with the onset of more digestive issues, and the sorrow that comes with living in this. Again. Over the past year, I've done a really good job of not letting my health issues be all-consuming, just living my life. That's harder to do when the pain and nausea force me onto the couch, unable to work like normal, or exercise, or do anything I'd like to do with the sun finally shining.

I guess I will air all the grievances we're experiencing together, and that I'm facing. But always on my heart are refugees, people displaced from their homes. Many who have come to the US are now also joining the contention of racism in their new country.

Today is World Refugee day. Typically a day to hear stories and celebrate all that refugees have overcome. This stands in direct juxtaposition with the fact that they would rather not have had to flee their homes in the first place. I don't know what to say, except press in. Lean into the conversations, listen to the stories of displaced people. Don't become apathetic amidst all the contention going on right now. It's more important than ever to be present and active. Now is the time.

If you're in Oregon, please check out Refugee Care Collective. They do amazing work with refugees in Portland! They offer a lot of really tangible ways for you to give to or get involved with refugees.

It seems like 2020 has pulled out all the stops to defeat us. But it hasn't succeeded yet. Breathe in the good things. Quarantine was an opportunity to re-prioritize, learn things about our habits and schedules that we wouldn't have noticed if we'd continued in our regular routines. Then there were murder hornets.

Then we became aware of the blatant racism still being practiced, and the ways in which we've contributed. This year is shaking everyone out of their comfort zones. Maybe that's just what we all needed. The status quo needed to be obliterated. Racism, oppression, injustice, these cannot go on.

Don't let the crashing waves of this year throw you. Life is so much bigger than our individual stories. Our stories are important, but they need to come together to join the collective story that God Himself is writing. Consider this year as a wake up call to get our eyes off ourselves.

What if we actually believed God made every person equal in His own likeness? What if we actually believed every person has a spark of holiness in them? What if we lived like we believed we're part of a larger story written by God, but our own self-absorption stunts God's glorious plan for humanity? What if we lived like we believed that Jesus did in fact endure persecution, hate, and death so that we could be whole? So we could have an intimate relationship with God?

How would you live differently if all that were true? How would you treat people differently? How would you view yourself differently? It's real hard to truly love others, and see others as God sees them, when we have no real fondness for ourselves.

Time's up. This is what I believe and I want to stop pussy-footing around.

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