Watching the World Change

It’s June 2020, and I’ve taken one trip this year- a trip to NYC by myself the first weekend of the year. The plan after that was to stay home for a couple months before heading to Ireland, followed by a road trip with friends from Seattle to San Francisco. Since this year has turned out differently than any of us expected, I’m really glad I took that first trip this year. I got see my favorite show close on Broadway, and that will be the highlight of my year.

The things I spent time doing seem so foreign to me now. I stayed in a hotel, flew on a plane, took a bus tour, walked through the crowded city, ate at restaurants and went to broadway shows. I miss Broadway shows. This year has been slow, and sad, and I’m constantly reminded not to take things like health and safety for granted. 

I’m not sad about travel being cancelled. Disappointment’s like those are part of life. I’m sad about the many lives lost to this pandemic, and the lack of care among the residents of our country. We’ve been handed simple ways to look out for one other, and seem to have found them to be too difficult. 

I’m sad about the racism that, while always here, has been brought to the forefront. It’s being pulled into the spotlight, and it’s not pretty. I’m learning to reckon with my own privilege, and the ideas that go along with that. I’m trying to educate myself on all the things, so I can speak from a place of understanding and not ignorance. 

I’m sad as I think about the inevitable chaos we will see in coming months due to the upcoming election. Sad about the way evangelicalism has given itself to a cruel leader in the name of God and “family values”. 

With the sad though, I do still have hope. A country waking up to injustice, a country where people are finding ways to look out for one another. My hope is that we will relearn the art of empathy. It feels like this has been trained right out of us in the pursuit of our own happiness. 

Here are some words I wrote recently in the midst of all that’s happening. I can’t wait to get out and see the world again, but when I do, I want to be sure it’s with open eyes.

I find it offensive
That my world can change
with such little warning, 
A bit of joy, a bit of pain 
That life doesn’t ask 
Before it takes, before it gives
That I don’t get to offer
Or rescind my permission 
But let me be one who 
gives when life takes
Who helps to mend
When the world seems to break
One who creates in the absence
Of hope or clarity 
One who clarifies 
When chaos is reigning