Rev. Kathi's Message
I have been hearing from some of you that life feels heartbreaking these days. It's all so much. Gun violence. Hate manifestos. Racism. Sexism. Extremism. Not just here in our community but across our country and around the world. I was actually tempted today to ask you all to send me your happiest vacation pictures. Sometimes we all need reminders that life can also be carefree and fun.
We lost one of our most powerful voices on Monday night - Toni Morrison was a modern-day prophet. She was brave, wise, brilliant, and powerful. She helped us all tell the truth about our lives through her writing. She was unbowed in her honesty about how we can treat one another - for good and ill.
During her Nobel Lecture, she said: "Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge."
Language can be a powerful tool for change, or it can cause irreparable harm. Our readiness to defend talking points without taking the time to research their validity is killing us. We are taking sides in ways that split our souls.
We have hard work ahead of us as a nation, as local communities and as families. We are the victims of extreme rhetoric, which is hurting us all.
Dr. Morrison gave us another word which might help us in this contentious time. In Beloved (1987), she wrote, "Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another."
It is up to us to claim ownership over the type of world we wish to create. We will either create one that maintains the divisions of privilege or we will create one that works for us all.
May God help us as we discern.