Last night was beautiful. We gathered together for a YES Trip, in the way that we could. Our time together had all the elements of a YES experience:
- Creating Community
- Sharing Stories and Prayer Requests
- Exposure to the Reality of the suffering in our cities
- Pure laughter and Joy
- A Call To Action
We came together to acknowledge the reality of the struggle so that we can be aware and equipped to care for ourselves and others. The community and joy was deeply felt, as it always is on YES trips. We are in the midst of a physical threat that offers us many opportunities for communion with God and each other. The necessary walls between us offer us an opportunity to be more mindful of every person outside of our own worlds…from your next door neighbor to people on other continents. Building bridges beyond our walls is not only possible, it’s incredibly needful.
Because we have walls between us, and are burdened ourselves, it would be easy to shut out other realities. We should not seek to escape or avoid what’s happening, or to be positive without remembering the negative…but to embrace that the joy of God’s Kingdom shows up when we live into who God designed us to be. Joy and healing come from co-suffering.
One way we co-suffered on our YES Trip was to welcome people’s stories and to offer prayer. We also discussed how to take our non-compassionate thoughts and replace them with compassionate ones, so that we may act compassionately towards others. We are adjusting to being in the same space with the same people, which is likely challenging for most. Our homes are currently the place our servant’s hearts are most needed. The patience, unconditional love, and community that is fostered at this time will hopefully carry on and be magnified once we are out of the dark. In the meantime, we seek the glimmers of light in the darkness.
One way that I’ve seen light come through is in the use of screens at this time. We typically talk about how screens cut us off from each other and break community. Look at us now! God has taken what has kept us from each other and made it THE way for us to connect! How incredible. We can see so much light in all the ways everyone is being creative and resourceful. Those that can work are figuring it out and school is happening online for most students. People are mindful of local businesses and restaurants, and doing what they can to support them. And it’s up to all of us to make sure that those who are most vulnerable are taken care of…by caring for ourselves and making sure they are cared for. This is the brightest light out there, and it’s up to use to keep sharing and shining.
How is light showing up for you today?