Several of us said yes! to the Young Adult Group’s invitation last month, and met at a local theater to watch the film “Just Mercy.”
“Just Mercy” brings to life the work of acclaimed public interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson. Along with Equal Justice Initiative, the organization he founded, Stevenson has worked tirelessly for over three decades to liberate unjustly charged prisoners on death row. The film is essential, unforgettable viewing for anyone who cares about where justice is and isn’t found within the justice system.
I was still under the thrall of the film, when this week’s edition of the online blog “Brain Pickings” caught my attention:
“Perhaps the deepest measure of . . . our very humanity, is how much we go on giving when what we most value is taken from us — when a loved one withholds their love, when the world withdraws its mercy.”
When the world withdraws its mercy: how to not only go on giving, but also fully living, when it would seem the world has withdrawn its mercy? It’s a question at the core of our theme for February — Resilience.
It’s also a question most of us face at some time or other in our lives.
I don’t think it’s by coincidence that religion is so often a source of hope and resilience for those who feel abandoned by the world around them.
At the same time, I also know people can reach an even deeper level of despair when they feel their higher power, God, or source of faith has abandoned them.
That’s one of the reasons I believe so deeply in the power of faith communities, like this one.
Here, together, we hear one another back into hopefulness through times of doubt and struggle. Here, together, we can manifest love when life meets us with injustices too great to bear alone. Here, we celebrate our milestones, and together, we confront some of the larger challenges that come about when society itself shows its unmerciful side.
In fact, I don’t believe resilience is something any of us achieves all on our own. For you — for me — for all of us: a network of supportive, ongoing relationships forms the fertile ground and the infrastructure for our own and our community’s resilience.
It is, indeed, a blessing to be here growing community with you.
In love and service,