No, I’m not. Seriously. I’m not.
Luke Chapter 10: The Parable of the Good Samaritan:
But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’
Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
I read Caralyn’s Beauty Beyond Bones post, Light in the Dark, just before going to bed last night. I’m saddened, and troubled. My heart aches for this family who lost their son for no other reason than his faith and culture. My heart aches for Caralyn’s cousin who lost his friend, his heart will ache for a long time. (My prayers and condolences for the family.) My heart aches for the people who murdered this kid, because the violence that lives on in them is an old one, that goes back a long time.
It is the kind of violence that gives permission to murder, rape, hate. It is the violence that gives permission to mistrust because black, brown, mentally ill. It’s a violence of the heart that separates. It’s a woundedness that Jesus wanted to heal. It’s a violence that nailed Jesus to the Cross. It’s a violence that somehow justifies and gives authority to someone to beat, mutilate, wound another person, physically, or mentally. It’s a woundedness that gives us permission to belittle others for political, or religious views.
The thing is, we don’t really have that permission granted from our Laws, or from our God. The parable of the Good Samaritan, the Beatitudes, the Cross show us a different way. The Samaritan chose to take care of this man, in spite of their differences, because it’s the right thing to do. Not because he thought that he was in any way better than the guy. The priest and the Levite chose not to help this guy. There may have been cultural/liturgical thoughts behind this, I’m going to ask my favorite Priest.
I’ve seen a meme recently that showed both of our current Presidential Candidates with a reminder that they are both children of God. They should be treated as such.Both of these people have flaws. They have both made mistakes – ones that have affected others – but that doesn’t give us permission to berate or belittle them. And yet we see this every single day.
I see this kind of verbal belittling in the quilting world. We all have different styles. We have different goals, and talents, and dreams. Megan Dougherty posted A pep talk, in case you need it, I share it here because this an act of violence against the self. An act of belittling our own abilities. We don’t have permission to belittle our Self this way.
One major goal when teaching is to have quilters begin to believe in the gifts God has given them. “You are a smart, and intelligent, you can do this!” is always ready to be spoken. I am a woman who is prone to belittling my Self, and my skills. My sweetie has commented that he’d like to see that change about me. I long to change the language of the conversation with quilters. How do we be kind to our selves, and therefore to one another? Let’s, as Megan says, give ourselves a bit of a pep talk. We can make the quilts of our hearts desire, one stitch at a time.
Perhaps part of this experience of “I’m less than” has to do with culture and to some degree a twisted interpretation of women. Clearly our Lord loved and respected women. Look at how he listened to his Mom. There was no uncertainty on her part that Jesus would fulfill whatever was requested on her part. Look at how he prevented the stoning of the woman caught in adultery. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” “Go and sin no more.” That was to the accusers as it was to her. And what about the woman at the well, he never shamed her. Ever. And the women who followed him. And Magdalene.
Consider why we make quilts…most of us make quilts to give as gifts, to wrap someone in love. The quilts we make in love for another are simply beautiful, because we made them. The quilts we make to offer comfort are simply beautiful, because the person on the receiving end will experience the love we’ve put into them.The quilts we make to keep us warm are beautiful because they keep us warm on chilly autumn and cold winter’s nights. The quilts we make to decorate our homes, or the homes of our friends are beautiful because of the time, care, and effort we put into making them.
I think I’ve shared that I’ve been hurt in the quilting world. But it hasn’t changed my love for quilting, the quilters who make quilts or the extended community. My endeavor for now is kindness and mercy. Towards myself and towards others. Kindness.