A satirical twist on this famous saying usually makes us smile: “Don’t just do something – Stand there!’ It’s been attributed to Dwight D. Eisenhower, Clint Eastwood, White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, Macrina Wiederkehr, and others. Macrina Wiederkher (d. 2020), friend and Benedictine writer, urged us to pause – to stand there - throughout the day to allow our soul to catch up with our body.
For whatever reason, 17- year- old Darnella Frazier stood there on the curb in front of Cup Foods. She stood there gripped in the gaze of Derek Chauvin. She stood there holding her phone as it recorded George Floyd’s last pleas and last breaths. Because Darnella Frazier stood there, her 10-minute video might change the course of history.
We don’t know for sure what was going on in Darnella’s soul, but she believed, as she told the jury, “He was suffering. He was in pain. . . . It seemed like he knew it was over for him. . . . He was terrified.” Darnella said, “The world needed to see what I was seeing,” So she continued to stand there.
What do Darnella, Macrina, and the White Rabbit, have in common? They give us advice, “Stand there!” Allow the Divine One to guide us. It could even possibly save our soul – or affect the soul of a nation.