I found a Smithsonian magazine in the Vanderbilt Hospital waiting room. The Smithsonian has always been a favorite of mine. I have a tendency to read the magazine from cover to cover. Regardless of any initial interest of the subject, I read everything. Regardless of having had a formulated opinion on the subject matter, I read anything. I read it all.
I can be swayed in some things. I know that time is always moving forward for everyone. I know that everyone’s path is different. I think formulating a rock solid opinion on anything, prevents personal growth. Reading the stories of others, I am able to be in the shoes of another. God gave us a world of extreme diversity. Why? I cannot believe His intention was for us to formulate an opinion & then make it an absolute. I don’t believe He would give us a mind filled with curiosity, for the soul purpose of limited self righteousness. For one to believe themselves to be correct in His intentions & then to look down on another because their beliefs differ…never that. A closed mind is never at peace. A closed mind is limited in it’s vision. God would have made the world black & white if His purpose was to have us be the same. No. I have faith that life is far better when lived large.
“I’ve learned that people forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” ~Maya Angelou
The Smithsonian I found is dated December 2012. The article was about Bryan Stevenson, “THE LEAGAL CRUSADER HAS GIVEN THOUSANDS OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN AMERICA’S PRISONS THE MOST VALUABLE GIFT-A SECOND CHANCE”
(if you made it this far, you must be family:)
The article begins with the author & Bryan Stevenson walking in Montgomery Alabama. They speak of Alabama’s history with the slave market. Then proceeds to Mr. Stevenson’s background. It is said of his TED talk in March 2012 that at its conclusion, “he received what TED leader Chris Anderson called one of the longest and loudest ovations in the conference’s history.”
(hi Mom & Dad, thank you for reading this)
I don’t really consider myself a religious person. More of a spiritual one. I feel closest to God when I am creating art. I say I’m Jewish, but I’m not a practicing one. I’ve been to difference services, at different Christian churches with friends & family–No matter the faith of these religious houses, some sermons have touched me, others have felt like a scolding.
I am learning & will continue to do so for as long as I am (lucky) able. The words below rocked me. In my opinion, it is the best definition of what faith is.
“Stevenson turns frequently to the Bible. He quotes to me from the Gospel of John, where Jesus says of the woman who committed adultery: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” He tells me an elderly black woman once called him a “stone catcher.” There is no such thing as being a Christian and not being a stone catcher,” he says. “But that is exhausting. You’re not going to catch them all. And it hurts. If it doesn’t make you sad to have to do that , then you don’t understand what it means to be engaged in an act of faith…But if you have the right relationship to it, it is less of a burden, finally, then a blessing. It makes you feel stronger. These young kids who I have sometimes pulled close to me, there is nothing more affirming then that moment. It may not carry them as long as I want. But I feel as if my humanity is at its clearest and most vibrant.”
“Is your work a ministry?” I ask.
“I would not run from that description.” end.
The word I will change in my mind is, “There is no such thing as being HUMAN…”
Faith is instilled at the human core, otherwise we would not venture further then the people who have come before us.