Tuesday, June 30, 2020
A Tangled Mess
I woke from sleep and walked into the bathroom. In the mirror, I saw that the three necklaces I wear (Brown Scapular, Miraculous Medal and Crucifix) were a tangled mess. I could see in the mirror that I needed to move one necklace under and over the others a few times, but looking in the mirror as I tried to do that, I found myself moving one necklace over and under, rather than under and over. My mind and my eyes didn’t seem to be connecting. That was because although I saw ME in the mirror, the images were reversed and looking at that and moving, I was moving in the wrong direction. I knew what I wanted to do; I could see it --- or seemed to --- but I couldn’t do it. I needed to close my eyes, and do it by heart. It was easier that way.
There was an hour-long special about the social unrest on a local television channel on Sunday night. There were talks with small groups or individual local (Detroit) elderly, young, and people of different races. Martin Luther King III was interviewed. All agreed this racial awakening seems different than past risings. There were examples spoken of racism that all black families teach their children to expect, and how to meekly react. Every adult had a personal example, or many, of racial bias they had incurred. One spoke of how he never puts his hands in his pockets in a store, in case someone might wonder what he was reaching for. Many told of being addressed with the “n-word”. Some spoke of needed changes in law, but none spoke of how the politicians can’t seem to agree on that. Politics was not mentioned even once in the whole hour --- I liked that. And one early-teen white girl spoke of her participation in marches, and how “everyone agrees changes need to be made and since everyone seems to agree, I’m surprised changes haven’t happened already.” That comment had everyone agreeing it was the most pointed statement of the night. And in the last interview, a group of three persons were asked what do we do now, and the first one said “what we need is love.” And there were no further personal statements, as one after the other, along with the hosts, they all agreed with that statement.
I thought about my tangled necklaces, which are visible symbols of God’s love and my love. When I tried to untangle them while looking in the mirror, I acted like the guy in the mirror was me, but he was only an image of me, and trying to do a good thing which I couldn’t get him to do. Maybe that’s why “what we need is love.” Love doesn’t try to fix things as we think they should be. Love doesn’t say “I have the solution for you” to someone else. Love changes oneself first, acting from the heart, and then asks another if they need some help. And together, they get things done.
What we need is love.