Inside the safety and warmth of my home I have been able to snuggle a precious newborn. I have taken the time to watch him nurse, eyes looking for mine. I have held him in my arms and simply watched each breath, every relaxed inhale and exhale notes a peace that many children yearn for.
Within my own community, I hear stories of children who struggle, who are neglected and sometimes even unloved. My mom works directly with these children, laboring relentlessly to help families find long-term solutions for their troubles. She calls, emails, and visits schools, she fights for those who have no one in their corner. It is tiring work that not many can or are willing to do, but she knows that if she doesn’t do it, often no one else will.
As I scroll through my news feeds, both social and press, I have been overwhelmed with stories and opinions and felt frozen with indecision on what I can contribute to the dialogue. There is not much I can say that has not already been spoken of and for that I have refrained, and on another hand many conversations are wrought with mocking and rage which I have found to be of little help for anyone.
However, I have also been inspired; by those who have found their voice in this massive sea, by those who have the time and resources to peacefully protest, by those who have found their footing creating light-filled activism.
As I have sat in the comfort of my home, tending to this new life, I have been filled with fear and anger, confusion and shock at the words and actions of our President and how much he has impacted the humanity of our nation. I think about this new baby and the world he has joined. As his mother, I feel the urgency to take care of him by giving him all the tools he will need to withstand chaos and confusion. Then I think of all of those children, within my very own community, who have very few advocates, if any. I think of those children in war-torn nations who have families and advocates but still struggle to escape their reality because of resources and laws.
I do not understand the lack of empathy that I see in the choices of our leaders, and it pains me because I feel helpless as the problems seem so huge and insurmountable and here I sit on my couch nursing my child for the millionth time and picking up messes and folding clean clothes. My life ticks on, the world still spins and yet there are people who are simply seeking refuge.
A life of simply nursing and cleaning clothes. A life where the messes can be picked up and tidied.
As we look at our history and the atrocities committed, humanity has been at the heart of it. Our humanity is our ability to empathize and understand. To find ways to lift and help each other. Our humanity is rooted in civil discourse and peaceful activism. When I think of the horrors of our history, it is the silence and dismissing that haunt me. The shrugging of shoulders and closing of curtains.
I want to purposefully participate in the goodness of humanity; the creation of light and peace.
As a mother of newborn, I am limited but there is still much that I can do.
I will start with maintaining the peace in my home. I will create a safe haven for my children and do my best to open my doors and set a spot at my table for others.
I will speak up when I see or hear discrimination. I will not do this with anger or mocking but with a steady voice, rooted in kindness.
I will write letters and make phone calls to representatives and speak up for civil liberties.
I will continue to be aware and conscious of the issues that surround us and the impact they have not only on MY family but how they impact ALL families. The quick or easy solutions are rarely best, but the solutions that take into account diverse voices and experiences have lasting power.
I will pray. I will pray for my nation. I will pray for those who lead and guide this country to do so with love. I will pray for the many who are hurt by and live in fear of the actions of our government. For refugees and immigrants, for people of color and women, for the poor and desolate, for the children who yearn for safe walls, for a haven of their own.
If I am a mother, I am a mother to all. I will follow the example of my Savior and open my arms, stretch out my hands, and make space in my heart to love and care for all of God’s children.