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OCTOBER 2017: A GATHERING OF WOMEN

By Tanya Lopez, Regional Disciples Women Ministry Staff

Now is the time..
Pain
Suffering
Shock
Disbelief
Anger
Fatigue
Frustration
Fear
Despair

There is so much going on in the world. So much pain so much darkness, it gets difficult to see the light and to remain hopeful that things will change, that things can change, that things can get better. Globally there are so many people being affected by so many things that it is overwhelming and truly exhausting. We are one human family and yet we are at times so disconnected from one another. How can we come together? How can we work together to rebuild, to heal, to restore what has been lost, and what is at risk of being lost?

I think so many of us are hyper aware of everything going on in the world, that we at times do not have time to fully process one thing before another thing happens. There are feelings, there is trauma, there is brokenness that we experience and yet do not process because doing so interferes with our ability to be hypervigilant of impending danger and threats. I am not necessarily referring to physical threats, though those are very real, I am referring to interpersonal and relational threats and harm that we cause each other. We as the church are so concerned with making sure that we are all united and that we are all behaving like good Christians that we forget that we are all different, all unique and yet all part of the body of Christ. Acknowledging our differences makes us united. We recognize the needs, wants, fears, longings, and aspirations that are unique to each of us and allow us to truly be united only when we accept that we are different.

Some of us experience racial injustice, some of us do not. Some of us are experiencing economic struggles, some of us are not. Some of us dealing with health issues, some of us are not. Some of us are angry, hurt, confused, and scared and some of us are not. There are those of us that are experiencing joy while others of us are grieving. We need to allow ourselves and others to experience these things fully. So many of us think that getting angry is bad, that doubting is bad, that expressing ourselves in any other way other than how we believe good Christians express themselves is not only bad, but shows a lack of maturity and can even be sinful. We are human. The full human experience is not something we can pray away, will away or hide away. We as fully human, will get angry, we will feel anxiety, we will fear, we will mourn, we will experience rage and we are allowed to experience this. We have become too preoccupied with “being one” that we do not allow the individual parts that make us one to move and express themselves in ways that are unique to them and that allow them heal, to cope and move forward.

Some people will need to cry; others will need to scream. Some people will need to stay positive and focus on the good, others will need to name and highlight the pain, destruction and horrors that are affecting them and the world. We need to allow the body of Christ, with its different parts, to move and express and heal in ways that are unique to each part. We need to recognize our differences, respect them and allow our differences to be. When we try to make everyone fit into one mold, we cause harm to one another. Now is the time to help one another heal. Now is the time to rebuild. Now is the time to listen. Now is the time for us to be the compassion we need, to be the hope we need, to be the love that we need.

Words are inefficient. Prayer without action is useless. It is time to stop pretending we are one and actually do things and behave in ways that will bring us together. We need to gift ourselves the grace to be human and feel what we need to feel, express what we need to express and then take action to heal and move forward. Only when we allow the unique and individual parts of the body of Christ to exist, to move, and express themselves fully and authentically, will we truly be one. Church, let us be the hope, the light, the good, the love and the peace that our world so desperately needs. Let us be this in the ways that are authentic to each of us, because through our differences we are strengthened.

 

Blessings,

Tanya Lopez
Disciples Women Ministry Staff
2401 N. Lake Ave, Altadena, California 91001
(562) 652-3002

*Connect with us the Disciples Women Booth at Regional Gathering for more information on all things Disciples Women. See you at Regional Gathering!